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does Dad have to apply for guardianship (is a guardian required)?Mom was ruled incompetent due to severe dementia. Does she have to have legal guardian or does my Dad have rights because he is her spouse? He started the guardianship process but we didn't not realize how much of an undertaking it was (so much paperwork and documentation) Since he is her spouse can he just continue to control her finances or is guardianship legally required now that shes been labeled incompetent?

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"Mom was ruled incompetent" by whom? Unless it was ruled in court, by a Judge, then she is legally competent and can refuse to let him control the finances. She can refuse to go to a nursing home. She can refuse to let the MD's talk to him. She can empty the bank accounts and give all the money to all her children (and a lot do this). Get the Guardianship.
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If mom and dad had their money comingled or if mom had appointed him POA for financial and medical issues there should be no need to go down that long, expensive and intrusive procedure. Once you do the courts are in your business at every turn. A lawyer may try to lead you down that road because there is a lot of money in it for them. A bit mor information would be helpful.
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Thomas gives a good explanation of under what circumstances guardianship may be required. When my fathered died, I was required to go through legal channels to acquire guardianship of my mother.
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I am not a lawyer. However, my experience with my late husband was that in most areas, such as decisions about medical treatment, there seemed to be an assumption on the part of medical personnel, that I would make decisions. He did have a signed and witnessed POS for medical. However, it's best to find an attorney who specialized in elder affairs.
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Please answer GardenArtist's questions. She is a wealth of accurate information. More information will be very helpful. Are they still living together? What if dad passes? Who would help mom then? Who ruled mom incompetent? How did that happen?
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Is you Dad showing signs of dementia? He might not be far be behind. My father had guardianship for my mom when she could o longer take care of herself. It scared me because he was almost as bad as she was. When he passed away, mu brother took over. It was in the will. Mom was at my fathers mercy, and it was like the blind leading the blind.I was relieved when my brother took over.
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I just have a POA for my mother and I am on her accounts.
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Are their accounts, assets (including house) held jointly with rights of survivorship? Did she ever execute any powers of attorney, for legal/financial or health care?
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