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it's now over a year later, after my mother's sudden TBI which left her incapacitated, my sister filed for guardianship of both my parents. My father has parkinsons and alzheimers, is doing relatively ok and looks for my mother everyday, it's a sad and tragic situation that I cry anytime I have to write or talk about it in details. Regarding my mother, I have a "flawed" DPOA which lists me for certain things and me and my sister for medical. I say "flawed" because I asked a friend/lawyer to look it over several months later and he said it wasn't perfectly written but that it would hold weight if ever this went to court. Some siblings had a fit when they found out about this document which has never been used. On top of threatening to take me to court (some of them were downright nasty while I was in the middle of a high risk pregnancy during this time), they said it wasn't my mother's signature which the lawyer said that it wouldn't matter even if I signed for her because she was present -- document is notarized. During the past year, me and 5 siblings met a few times to try and resolve matters. We agreed to me and her doing co-guardianship but a week later, one brother was against the idea. I decided to take myself out of the guardianship plan because as a new mother of twins, my stress level was through the roof. A different brother and the same sister were going to do co-guardianship but the same brother opposed this plan too with personal attacks against the other brother, etc. The brother who opposes everything has serious issues and was out of state at the time. A close family friend offered to do guardianship with my sister to help out the sibling drama and once again, that brother opposed that plan too. He only wants her to do it because he knows he can manipulate her any which way. Fast forward to now, she has filed on her own for full guardianship of both parents. There have been enough examples in the recent past which demonstrate that she is not only easily influenced by others (including the evil brother who wants everything his way only), but also not upfront about things and not trustworthy (again based on what has happened over the past year). In the end, she wants to make the final decision, however, I'm seriously struggling with all of it because some decisions will be regarding their end of life care and financial matters. Probably the main reason for filing is that she wants to sign off on an out of the country property sale. If she becomes the guardian, are whatever properties including items in the home, automatically owned by her?? I hate to be cynical but I can foresee lots of issues because she has such animosity towards me and another sibling in particular.
I know my mother wouldn't want this whole thing to be as painful as it is for her children (an amazing mother/human being) which is exactly why I can't in my right mind, allow certain people (who are not trustworthy) to "take over" and then at that point, I really will have no say. I just truly think that 2 people need to co-guardianship, how will the Judge (in NJ by the way) see it?? So I will be filing opposing her being solo guardian, I also need to include a statement, how far back should I go?? talk about who did what before the accident or just recent examples?? She has a lawyer that filed for her, I don't need one but would like one. Any and all comments are greatly appreciated....

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The advance directives should rule, but I saw some very tragic instances of situations where family/relatives were at loggerheads over whether to disconnect life support. In those cases, we in security were notified in advance and asked to be unobtrusively present should it be necessary.
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The court will require a background check as well as a credit report whether the proposed guardian is a family member or an impartial third party. Ownership of belongings does not transfer to POA or a guardian. They remain in the estate until sale to raise funds for care or death. I agree with the others, you need to nominate an impartial third party as guardian. We had a similar situation here because of family dysfunction and the guardian is the best thing to happen to my Mom. She is primarily interested only in Mom's welfare the family dynamic has been removed from the equation. If you cannot afford an elder law attorney, you coukd contact Adult Protective Services, explain the situation to see if they would make the nomination of impartial assistance for you.

Does your Mom have advance directives in place that specify the care she wants at end of life? That is the ruling document regardless of what any of the siblings may say. Did your Mom have a trust? Many times the advance directives are included there. The elder law attorney that prepared the documents would be able to supply you Mom copies if she dies not have them. A POA cannot change a trust or advance directives. If possible, do as I did to get copies. Type a letter requesting the documents but have your Mom sign it. Mail it to the attorney and he should mail docs back.
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Well the probate judges are pretty savvy and do want to hear from all sides in this - so that is in your favor. But I doubt they would appoint another family member over the one who is prepping for doing this.

Your best take in all this would be to ask the court to appoint an outside temporary guardian to evaluate your mothers situation both medical & financial. Judges often appoint an outside guardian either because family has in-fighting or the family member who want to be the guardian has background issues that is a problem. I would mention the "not in the US" property ownership & you need to take something that shows that this exists and that you bring this to the courts attention just to make sure that everything is done to maximize any financial benefit from the sale for your mom's care. Again stress that you - yourself - do not want to be the guardian (mention your babies) but would like for it to be someone who can look totally unbiased at the long term picture for your mom and understands the laws & nuances of elder health. & thank the judge for his listening to you too.

Perchance, is there anything odd in the one who wants to be the guardian? Like any bankruptcy, spotty job history, lousy credit, kids have juvee issues? Ditto for his wife. The court can do a background check so if you know there are defientley issues (you need a copy of police reports and you can get these as they are usually public records), I'd mention them. Good luck.
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I've talked to 2 different lawyers (friends) to get some advice but overall, I cannot afford one to help with this matter, I wish I could.....newest info is that my sister is claiming that decisions will be voted upon and the consensus is the decision, however, it's an unfair vote since there are basically 4 that would be for hospice/trach weaning and 2 that are not for that.....it is ultimately about what my mother's wishes are and that's what I will be presenting to the Judge, with or without a lawyer, honestly i feel so sick over this
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The guardian does not automatically get ownership of anything. Neither would someone with a POA, just for your information. Get a lawyer because you don't understand enough about the legalities to go forward on your own.
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Somehow I wonder if a judge would give anyone in this dysfunctional family the role of guardian.

You do need a lawyer -- someone who specializes in Elder Law.
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She is being well cared for, depending on who her nurse is, my concern is more about the one sibling wanting to expedite her passing and would easily convince my sister to make that decision, my mother wanted to live under whatever means, granted the specifics of that statement was not clarified, i am trying to go by my mothers wishes, not what i specifically want or would do if ever in a similar situation....thanks for your input
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My understaning is that if there is not family agreement on guardianship, the Judge will appoint an outsider as guardian. You should seek the advice of an eldercare attorney who can explain this to your siblings. Is your mother being well cared for? That should be your only concern. If you take desire for an inheritence out of the equation, then what you want/need to do usually becomes clearer.
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