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I have a friend who I briefly worked for... That's how we met. Her son in Alaska (we're in Washington State) who was power of attorney, appointed a financial guardian ad litem because he didn't like her sending money to a friend of hers that she'd been doing for for 6 years. Now she has this guardian who has reduced her spending to $300 a month. She's 85 years old, had her own business, and a fairly wealthy husband, dead now for 20 some odd years. She liked going to the casino, getting her nails and hair done, getting her dog groomed, and buying things for her grandkids on home shopping networks. $300 a month basically covers food and nothing else. She did have a grandson living with her, but the GAL has deemed him to be "not very helpful" to her and obtained a court order demanding he move from the home, (so now she has NO ONE except a girl that comes in for 4 hours once a week, and my friend occasionally has falls!) They sent police to their house to enforce ousting the young man and changed the locks so he can't come in. She is forbidden to see him or talk to him, even though she wants to and didn't want him kicked out! They found out that he was driving a truck that was in her name and took it from him. It now just sits in her yard. A van she had that could accommodate her scooter needed a new starter. They said its in "storage" but she thinks they sold it. They are trying to inventory all of her belongings to sell as well. I'm told that her son in Alaska that started all this no longer has power of attorney, and that they need to go to court to change anything but the only person that will be attending court in her favor is her granddaughter. My friend has been found to be very mentally competent by her doctor. I was interviewed by the GAL to be a caregiver but because I don't have certain certs, I was denied (I'm an independent home health provider thru COPES and our local DSHS office). How can I help my friend?? She's beginning to feel helpless.

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This society gives people way to much power over others. who do they think they are, telling her what she can do with her own money. just because someone gets a little older, doesn't automatically make them incompetent.
I would suspect the real reason why they kicked the grandson out, was because he would be the only one standing in there way of getting her stuff.
What right do they think they have selling her stuff?

LadyKain, I don't know what to tell you to do but It is good that your trying to help her.
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To me, it sounds like the POA son saw the moocher/H$N charges/ casino trip$ and had enough. If he didn't want to come home to manage mama, the son did the responsible thing and asked APS to petition the court to appoint a state guardian, just like we advise people to do who have "difficult" relationships with their elders. A guardian is only appointed when there is incapacity. And a guardian won't limit an elder to an unreasonable amount - it would be based on her assets and income and reasonable expenses.

I heard mthr talk about situations like this when I was young and she too gave only the affected elder's side. It's sad that the neighbors don't always recognize the signs of dementia, hoarding, and elder abuse and instead generally take the elder's word as truth. Mthr told terrible stories about me to her neighbors. I understand they only heard her side, but it still hurts to be in that position. I can see how an elder who has been adjudicated incompetent would be furious by their loss of rights. However, I trust that the court has her best interest in mind. Perhaps talking to the local Clerk of Courts could clear up the situation for the OP. C of C could show the OP how to use the public record to find out what really happened.
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How do you know your friend was found "very mentally competent" by her doctor?

There are many red flags in your post. HSN, live in grandson who is a possible "moocher" and not helping, sending money to people....

Why do you believe that her son appointed the guardian? Her story doesn't hang together as to the facts...
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Would Adult Protective Services be of any help? They'd be obligated to take a report and investigate all of it, hopefully objectively...
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Barb and JoAnn both make very good points, that a guardian is a court appointed entity.   Unless there was a specific authorization provision in a DPOA, I don't see how this could have been legally.

Unfortunately, your friend will need to challenge this particular, so-called guardian's validity.   What you can do is prepare a synopsis of the situation and attempt to find a good elder law attorney with experience in contested guardianships, but your friend should make the decision who to retain.   A history of this guardian's experience is absolutely necessary, as removal will require court action.

The attorney could ask for injunctive relief such as a Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining (preventing) this guardian from (a) generally all activity he/she is doing, or (b) more specifica restrictions, , such as spending money, interfering with visitors or family, etc..  

A TRO would stop the so-called Guardian from selling assets, etc., but it could also prevent him/her from even providing food for your friend.    This is how a more specific TRO could be more beneficial.  

The Court may even appoint a temporary guardian to act while the matter is being litigated. 

Unfortunately, this doesn't surprise me, as I've learned of a few similar situations in this area.   And, although I don't recall all the details, I do believe that unfortunately these issues occurred through court appointed guardianships.

I'm assuming that you would want to be appointed in place of the guardian.  If so, be prepared to explain in detail why you feel you're appropriate, as well as addressing what may appear on the face of the situation "sour grapes" b/c you didn't get the appointment.

This is not  an accusation, or judgment conclusion, just an observation of someone who apparently was interested in being a guardian having become involved in attempted removal of an apparently improperly appointed guardian.   I'm sure allegations will fly; be prepared.
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LadyKain Oct 22, 2019
Actually, I'm NOT interested in becoming her guardian in any way or form. I currently have a gentleman I care for that takes up a majority of my time, as well as kids and animals at home to care for at the moment. As it was, I was interviewed for the position of a caregiver/housekeeper; someone to come in and clean, shampoo carpets, do yardwork, help her go thru boxes, and this was before I had my current job. What I want is to see my once generally upbeat friend to not look so beat down anymore.
As far as her grandson goes, he wasn't working, aside for the few odd jobs because she liked him home a fair amount of time because it's hard for her to do things around the house, carry things etc, and he filled that role. Last fall she moved from her house in a nearby town to move into this one (that she also owns; she was letting the grandson live here already) because her granddaughter wanted her living closer after she set her kitchen on fire in the other house. He was helping her sort thru what to sell what to keep etc. And her son had no problem with his nephew living with her, they WANT her to have some supervision. So the guardian ad litum kicks out the only family member that is free to live there? Everyone else is married or out of town or is too busy to move in with her or have her live with them. She doesn't object to this guardian helping her with her finances. What she objects to is not having a couple extra hundred dollars to do her beauty upkeep, or buy this or that for special occasions or birthdays and being court ordered to not see her grandson or having someone she trusts in the home to help out.
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Agreed. A Guardian ad Litum is appointed by a court and not by son. Son apparently is bringing action forbpermanebt guardianship. She will have been appointed a lawyer. Have you and she talked to that lawyer about her wishes, how her finances are to be managed going forward?
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Not for nuthin', but 'buying things on the Home Shopping Networks (plural) can run into the THOUSANDS of dollars a month. Trust me, I know. I shop at hoarders homes who's frustrated families wind up having to hire Estate Sale companies to dispose of all the fun stuff their loved ones purchased on HSN that's still in boxes in their hallway. Piled up to the ceiling. Sold off for a dime on the dollar. Not to mention your friends' fondness for casinos, which is another VERY expensive hobby. And grandson's likely mooching off of her and driving trucks in her name..........it's all adding up here, if you think about it.

Her son is probably doing what MUST be done by putting her on a strict spending budget, lest she spend her entire nest egg frivolously.

You are likely getting only one small piece of a much larger story here, including why a 'guardian' was appointed to begin with for a 'mentally competent' individual.
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LadyKain Oct 22, 2019
Ive worked with fair share of hoarders as well, and granted, she grew up in the Depression era. She hates throwing away anything she can reuse so we've had our battles over yogurt containers and jars, but as far as the HSN collection, she doesn't have one. She buys the gift and gives it as intended. As for her casino fondness, she goes with $75 twice a month. I know this because she's had me drive her. When you win a jackpot, the casino gives out a reward letter. She has 47 of these that go back 15 some odd years so i don't think the casino is a problem. The truck her grandson drove was in her name but his was on the registration. Her son hired the guardian because she's been giving money to an old friend for 6 years and it comes to a substantial amount. He has made several payments to her in return to pay her back (I've seen receipts and checks )and although they're pretty small, he is regular. I have my suspicions that it's more like someone's worried there won't be an inheritance by the time she goes, (or don't want to pay for an assisted living facility?) which as far as I'm concerned, is her perogative and shouldn't be an issue for anyone as long as she's still paying her own bills. So instead of giving her friend her money, which makes her happy, it's getting spent on "storage" that she doesn't need (she has ample room to park a couple cars) , the tow bill to tow off her van she wanted to fix, and they towed away a motorhome on her property that belonged to an friend from out of town. She then had to ask the guardian to get it out of impound so her friend could pick it up when she came back this summer, who did so, but with her money. They changed the locks in her home then charged her for the locksmith fee; she found a contractor to install a walk in tub for $1200, but they say she has to go thru one that they approve of which will cost her $4500. And anytime she calls and talks to her guardian, it costs her $85. I don't know, something just doesn't seem right to me.
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Her son can't appoint a guardian. She has to be found incompetent for this to happen. If there was no judge involved, sure it can't be done. If she is "with it" she can revolk her sons POA.
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I question how a mentally competent woman - certified by a doctor - ended up with a guardian at all. This needs to be fought through the courts and your friend needs to provide as much expert evidence as possible to overturn this, I would encourage her to have a full assessment of her cognizance by a reputable, independent doctor.
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AlvaDeer Oct 20, 2019
Agree completely. Guardianship doesn't happen automatically. I think she cannot "help" her friend. If there is any question of competency then the granddaughter's help may help. Otherwise this is looking more and more like an elder who either is incompetent, or is at the center of a family food fight over money and control. Scary stuff. We only get the one side of it.
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