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I am ready to file and have been told my an attorney that I should file for both consecutively. They are wanting a retainer of $4K and I'm pretty certain my brother will use dad's $$ to contest. I simply cannot afford it. All I'm looking for is transparency but my brother(s) will not even return my call/letters. So I won't nag, I'm putting this in God's hands and filing on my own I suppose. Any pearls of wisdom from similar situations in the Mitten?

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Yes, current there myself for same reasons of no transparency as to finances. What I did was nominate an impartial third party for guardian and conservator which would be easier for a judge to consider. I would think they would hesitate to appoint another child because the sibling issues are bound to continue without 3rd party intervention. This could also help siblings to collaborate and coordinate together in a more productive fashion. It has been and will continue yo be a nightmare for awhile yet.
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Well, your responses have summarized what will appear to be a nightmare if I go for this. thank you all for your responses. One more question though, in terms of my brothers trying to screw me personally, if that happens, will i be able to take them to court with all my record keeping after my father is promoted to Heaven?
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I have more experience in this matter than I could ever want. My grand mother's son and daughter were exploiting her financially and giving her Nyquil and wine at 10 in the morning to avoid dealing with her. That part is a long story. The short of it is I caller APS and they held an emergency hearing placing her with me due to neglect and exploitation. I thought this would be a pretty easy case with APS on my side. Not so. He son contested it. After 3 years in court and $30k, 4 lawyers and a GAL, I was awarded Guaridanship and Conservatorship. The commissioner of accounts determines what can be spent on her. So now, she has in excess of 10k in her account (being saved for her heirs. The very people she was taken from) and I pay a majority of her care because the commissioner of accounts wont allow her funds to be spent. Needless to say, I have retained a lawyer who also happens to be the President of the Elder Law Association and we are going back to court. This will make 9 times in court over things that should have been addressed initially. So, advise, from hindsight of course, be sure everything is handled from the start. Get a budget in place that includes her portion of your expenses, care (include respite care for you too. You will need it), prescriptions, your bond (you will need to be able to be bonded), banking fees, postage, maintenance to her home or your's as a result of careless care givers ( I have gone through 3 major appliance repairs due to negligent care givers), food etc. I know it sounds small, but it adds up. In the past 6 months I have expended 7k out of my pocket because the commissioner would not allow grand mom to pay for her own care unless I was at my "regular" 40 hour a week job.
I hope this helps. If you have questions. I may have answers.
Good luck!
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You can go to Probate Court and file yourself without an attorney, and you can claim hardship and maybe the court fees will be waived. I filed for guardianship for my mother and my four siblings used her estate money to hire THE top elder attorney. Needless to say, I did not win, but the judge who handled the future hearings did listen to me, made almost all rulings in my favor, and in the end, the nursing home called me FIRST when she died (they were supposed to inform the executrix sister first. So hang in there, and do your best, and still try to file without an attorney. I did.
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Thank-you for this topic and for everyone's answers. I am seeking guardianship for my Mom. I also have an evil brother contesting it. Anyhow, the answers here have been very helpful to me. Thank-you Everyone!
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So many challenges - and the nature of the situation is that the elder will deteriorate so things will change. I suggest getting professional articles and sending them, and talking with Elder Mediation folks, who will counsel one member of a family alone also. And, if you let your brothers know that you are looking into mediation and even ask them to choose an outside person to listen to all sides.... the challenge in a sexist family is not just that they act like autocratic jerks who have no obligation to be transparent.... but that we (those of us who struggle to keep the peace, make everyone happy including them, be fair and upfront.... ) are afraid of opposing them directly, so we seek someone to MAKE things happen, just so we can be sure our side is heard. I've made progress with my older brother, which is not complete, but major progress over the years - by keeping in touch with him myself, finding some area of common ground, by showing him that I also like him and want his approval and company, by sending prompt financial records and when he had objections to some things, I went along with some, and justified others - in other words, I spoke my mind, and showed him that I valued his limits, and that I also believed that other aspects of care were important to consider. I still have to have the major family discussion - and for that, I intend to write a document proposing my view of what should happen, and send it to all living brothers, and ask their feedback on it. That way, at least instead of avoiding them in fear, I end up really formalizing my plan and asking them about it. You can also send your plan to a Council on Aging, or some other expert and ask their comments - get around your brothers in softer ways, and then when your mom goes, you will know you tried to help each other, even when it was really hard. You've probably tried in many ways, but formalizing it can help separate care issues from interpersonal ones - if they raise interpersonal issues, you might prepare some short defense, and say that whatever your past faults (give them any leeway), you are just trying to do your part for your mother, and want their input and cooperation. All easier said than done, but sometimes discussions blow up, but later, if you bring it up again, it works better the next time. Good luck!
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Siblings who just want money... I feel your pain guys. Every state has different rules, too. The best thing I ever did was engage a truly caring elder care lawyer from my states's Bar and that took care of the avaricious sib. Also, before guardianship, which might not be needed (think DPOA), ask around where you live for recommendations. All the best.
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Why don't you look around for a great guardianship lawyer and get a consultation. Seems as if you are the DPOA that you have rights to her bank accounts and should be able to get the information that you want. PS...with the history of your male family members, the cards might be in your favor, or the judge would take her out of that situation and assign an outside agency to handle it. It is a very f'd up situation either way. I'm sorry--been through it and it was not pleasant.
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did I mention i come from a very sexist family?
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wow! what a nightmare, heh? I've been praying about the reason(s) why I feel led to file for G/C. #1 is the fact that there is no transparency in what my brothers are doing . They will not even speak to me. It's embarassing to tell you this because I was completely transparent as dad's POA and was still accused of stealing. The state found no evidence of it because it never existed. I simply want checks and balances. Both brothers are untrustworthy, one an ex-felon, and the other's son is also a felon.
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Guardianship/Custodianship are granted in the event that the person in question has been deemed 'incompetent of handling affairs' relating to an array of areas; mostly the daily aspects of finances -including IRA, property, stocks/bonds, investments, and paying bills. The cost burden is brought to bear by the person for whom it is sought, who has the right by law to also have legal counsel. Though your siblings (brothers) have a bone of contention, I believe they would be liable for the cost of contesting your action. Check with and Elder Attorney to clarify that. File the paperwork and protect it as the originator of the action, thereby disabling your brothers from using funds from Dad's assets to counter-suit.
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When there is a family squabble the judges most of the time assign an outside agency to be guardian and conservator. That is what happened to our family. It has been a two year never ending nightmare. Try to go into mediation and not through the court system. We have spent over $10,000 in lawyer fee, the court system another $20,000, my evil brother who another approximately $10,000. Nothing has good has come out of this. Monday they came and took mom to her doctor who told her she was to be put in a home. They put her in an ambulance and took her away like a prisoner. She is not working out at the home they put her in and will have to be moved again. My poor sweet mom is now aggressive and hitting people. She is in advanced stage of dementia. These guardian people are only required to have a high school diploma. They are in charge of my mom. It is so sad, we have no say in the matter.
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takeit - I have not been a G/C but have been an executrix twice and sat in probate court for more hours than I can count (4 years probate on 1 estate alone). Probate court is also where G/C hearing are held.

G/C can be expensive. 4K actually seems low to me. I would think with all costs incurred it will run double that. If your brother contests all this, there could be many, many hearings all of which you have to be there for and also your attorney which will drive up costs. You do want to make sure that the attorney's are experienced in doing G/C. Most are not and there are alot of nuances in what is needed or how to turn what is presented to your side. Probate court is public access, so all filings are available and attorney's names are attached to the files. You can - in most county's - go to an on-line document finder for recent probate court filings. When you do this, there will appear the attorney's names
(because they filed it), there probably will be the same names over & over as the attorney's who filed in court. Those are the guys you want to hire. They have the experience and more importantly know how the judges run their court. Probate judges are pretty savvy (like was Mom'sAngel's one) as they have heard everything from families and their court IS THEIR COURT. They are the most important person (and best looking too even if they look like Jabba the Hut) in the room. It's important you remember that all the time. Your focus is the judge not your brother.

They (judge) seem to bend over backwards to be fair but there could be issues with the filing party that cannot be overlooked even if they would be the best G/C.
If you or your hubby or your kids who live in your home have any debt issues, or any arrests or previous felony issues or any outstanding legal issues, and you file for a G/C well......all that will surface and you will be viewed as unfit to be a G/C. So if your kid has been in juvee court in the past & still lives @ home, you are toast on getting appointed a G/C. Unfit household. If you have declared bankruptcy or have a lousy credit report, then you may be toast on being a G/C. If the G/C is being contested, the court routinely runs a check on the applicants. So think carefully if there could be any issues within your family situation.

If brother is mom's DPOA, then he has the right to use mom's $ to pay for the attorney to contest your application to be a G/C. She named him and therefore it is her intention for him to do whatever for her as per his discretion. If you mom did a "Guardianship in case of Incapacity" statement (my mom's attorney had her do this ages ago when she updated her will), then whomever is named will be appointed G/C - this is often done if there is a good bit of assets or there has been a history of family friction or some other bad family dynamic that might happen. So if your mom did this, it would be a waste for you to file to become her G/C.

Another thing is that if there is alot of he said/she said going on, the judge does NOT have to appoint either of you. What the judge can do is to have the person declared a ward of the state and then there will be a temporary G/C named. It will be an attorney or a specially trained legal / social worker professional who is vetted by the court and does this all the time. They get paid either from the assets of the person or by the state to do this. Neither you or your brother can do much about this, if it happens. The court appointed guardian then go through everything for the parent, can place them in a facility for a through evaluation, etc. The couple of court appointed G/C's, I have met, take all this very, very seriously. You can provide input but cannot interfere with what the court appointed G/C does.

Another thing on G/C, there is specific detailed reporting required by the court. How much depends on your state or the judge. There are specific forms and things that have to be done in the reporting. All this is filed and public too. Some folks just can't keep up with the required reporting so get removed as a G/C.

G/C is a pretty serious legal situation so think carefully and discuss with your family what all would be involved before you do this. Good luck.
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It is true that a guardian can charge for services however if it is a family member there doesn't have to be a charge for providing guardian services. The cost typically comes from filing fees and attorney fees. There may be low or no cost legal services that can offer services in obtaining guardianship. While it is true your parent will lose rights, the guardian must use (if a family member) prior knowledge of the ward's wishes as far as health care etc and must act in the best interest of the ward and not what the guardian wants. If the guardian is private and/or a stranger they still must act and make decision that is in the best interest of the ward. There may be a small filing fee for the annual report, you can contact the trust clerk to inquire about fees. If your parent is truly not capable, then you may want to look at guardianship. Please discuss this issue with staff at your local area agency on aging-their public guardianship manager will be able to explain how it works and can certainly answer any questions you may have. The manager can also discuss ways to avoid a guardianship. Good luck
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I would suggest just the opposite. Once you are in the court system it gets expensive. It is costing my mother $500 a month for them and they don't do anything for her. They are trying to get her house now that they have all her assets. Your mother will lose up her rights.
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Guardianship is only for those who are deemed incapable by two physicians (they complete forms to be used in court). Guardianship is the most restrictive because it gives full power to the guardian taking it away from the ward. If your parent is not capable and a guardianship is needed you can contact your local area agency on aging for any assistance programs that may be available in your area. If your parent has assets, they can be used to pay for an attorney and filing fees, however the agency on aging may be able to assist with your case. Has your parent stated who they want to take care of financial and medical matters? If this is you, you need to make sure you tell the attorney this. It's a difficult decision. With a power of attorney, your parent can revoke or name a new person to act on their behalf. Guardianship is the only way to be sure everything will be taken care of in the event your parent declines and becomes unable to 'rename' a representative. I find that as health declines people make bad decisions such as revoking the power of attorney. As guardian you must make decision that is in the best interest of your parent and you can make decisions based on what your parent has stated in the past about health care. You will have annual reports to send to the court, Your local area agency on aging can also give you information regarding guardianship and your local trust clerk can also be a resource when it comes to annual reporting. It's not easy when there are other family members that may not agree what is best for your parent. Good luck
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I have Mom with me. Mom specifically told me that she does not trust any of my siblings and not to share any info with them--anything. But as my sister visited and harassed me for info, in front of Mom, Mom told my sister that I had Mom's POA and Health Care Proxy. My sister still harassed me. Then she filed for guardianship of Mom--After getting a lawyer for Mom and a separate lawyer for me, and going thru the proceeding where the Judge (bless his soul) sat and talked with Mom and determined she prepared herself for her future and no guardianship was needed, we found out that it was Mom's money that was supposed to pay for the guardianship proceeding. And my sister knew this when she hired a lawyer--Mom would pay her lawyer, my sisiter's lawyer, the court examiner, the court appointed lawyer and any other expenses incurred--all under the laws of NY in the guardianship court. But, Mom's lawyer got the judge to make my sister pay her own lawyer and any expenses that they incurred. Remember this--and this is what the judge said--it is not about the children, but about the parent. My sister was worried about money before, well Mom took care of all that with her lawyer later and my sister lost everything!
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