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Several years ago my parent was diagnosed with early stage dementia. My mom wanted to consult with her attorney and I was/am her POA. Upon informing the lawyer of Mom's diagnosis - the attorney talked to my Mom about the possibility of needing a guardianship in the future. My wanted that responsibility to be divvied up between all of her children - which I stated would never happen because they can't get along and there would be a battle of wills. So the lawyers suggested a co-Guardianship - Mom was cool with that and informed the attorney who of her children she would want to have that responsibility (me and my sister). Fast forward to today - well, the children are divided - basically a battle of wills and I believe it's all driven by control of my Mom's assets and bank account - sad. I've managed her finances, bills, assets, insurance, financial planning - almost everything for YEARS. I have the education and professional experience to do this and I've done it quietly for many many years, unbeknownst to everyone. Recently, my Mom disclosed to me that my brother had borrowed thousands of dollars from her and that he also was given signing authority on one of her checking accounts. When I investigated more, I realized the money owed Mom was far more than what she told me. So, again, her lawyer was informed and Mom changed her will to indicate that my brother would inherit less the amount he owed her if he had not repaid her upon her death. My brother saw the will. From that point I've become the devil - he's attacked me verbally, cursed me out to my mother, slandered my name, everything you could imagine. He's said I am not nice to him, but I live 3000 miles away and we don't interact... He lies to my mother about me. I've heard him call me "f***g b**ch" to my Mother. He yelled at my Mom (while I was on the phone), pushed his iPhone in her face, told her he's recording her and wanted to know where all of her money was and what was her net worth and threatened that if Mom didn't tell him or didn't know that he was "done"! The other sister - she's out of her mind and I'm sure my brother has poisoned her mind as well, but she's proven to be difficult as well and bullies my Mom. Everytime I would come home to visit, she would miraculously show up - ruining the time I had to my Mom. Neither of the two of them do ANYTHING to help my Mom - nothing... Brother lives in the same time and my Mom went through a horrible bout with hallucinations and my brother would NOT stay with her - instead stating that having her car keys would be sufficient. Her power went out for a week one November - he left her in the house, in the dark, no hot water, no lights - her vision is not good and he left his dog with her to care for and the temps outside were 30 degrees - WHO DOES THAT? (And there is so much more I could post...) So Mom has gotten to the point that she cannot live alone and is now living with my other sister who is in the medical field. She's doing so much better - not alone, safe, no hallucinations since October, she's on a consistent schedule, eating, bathing (wasn't doing it before), interacting, meds on schedule, getting pampered a bit, etc. My siblings decided to visit Mom and long story short, they were both unbelievably disrespectful to our sister - my brother assaulted her in front of my Mom and now there is a warrant out for his arrest. So, we had met in October with Mom's attorney who suggested to go forward with the Guardianship - Mom agreed. Had a consultation with the Guardianship attorney, but put it off because Mom had moved in with my sister. Now, in addition to the warrant, the crazy sister thinks she can come to my sister's house whenever she wants to take Mom. Mom does not want to go and so the crazy sister is threatening to bring the police (mind you my other sister is married to a police officer!). So, we've decided to go forth with the Guardianship now so that Mom can be protected and maybe this will settle all of this madness.


My question is what evidence do I need to include with my submission to the attorney that could strengthen our position for co-Guardianship? I have copies of all of the "loans" and other monetary transactions between my Mom and brother that are still outstanding. I have emails from the crazy sister indicating that I am the best qualified to care for my Mom.... What other things should I submit in case they are meaningful?


Thanks!

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Rainmom - it's cool. No offense taken and I hope I've not given any. This is a great site and I'm a bit overwhelmed with my Mom and this nonsense with my siblings. We were not raised to behave like this so its so baffling to know my brother would strike my sister - but he's never been held accountable for his actions - now he is. And I've had a few private messages of encouragement and with great info. Thanks for commenting!
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Sorry I couldn't be more help hun like I say I am a Brit and things are very different here. I also know your individual states have their own slants on the law so nothing is guaranteed. Oh you MUST take your POA with you absolutely will need that. Stay cool - you know the routine if you feel yourself getting angry slow your speech right down and jab your nails into the palms of your hands, don't interrupt but wait patiently until you can speak. If you are not given that opportunity then request it politely. Calm calm calm all the way. As a banker you will have had to do this before so I am just gently reminding you of controlled voice and its power especially when dealing with ....well best not call them what I want to lets just say your interesting siblings
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Wow. Okay - I apologize sincerely for going off topic. This is a group of strangers through the power of anonymity share details of their lives that they can't share elsewhere. This can create a bond of camaraderie. I'm sorry that you don't see that - it's one of the best parts of coming here.
You are asking for help but seem to want to dictate the terms for how it is offered. So I suggest you take anything you deem useful - which seems to be nothing at this point - and ignore the rest.
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OhJude - thank you. Exactly what I was looking for. I keep very good records - experienced and saw lots of elder abuse when I was a banker and I'm very aware of the need to keep documentary evidence. I have diaries of events - you don't even know the half of what has gone down. By the way, the brother was arrested last night doe the assault on our sister. My sister is going to ask the judge to make him get anger management and so community service - he's troubled. Needs the help and I'm proud of my sister for finally trying to stop him in his tracks - his behavior is horrible. I didn't even tell you all how I've witnessed verbal abuse by him to my Mom. Yes, he curses at her - called me ugly profane names to her - disgusting. He needs an exorcism (funny but not funny)... I think I'm in good shape it's just good to hear others' experience. Thanks again.
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Yep guilty as charged One... I went off topic. I would take copies of absolutely everything the letters from your solicitors to siblings. be ready to have receipts to hand if needed. I would stop her credit card immediately and activate one in your name acting as her POA and keep a copy of the letter stating your reasons for doing this. Then I would write to all the siblings explain gin what you have done and why - it is perfectly OK in fact its more than OK to keep them in the loop - if you get negative comments back keep them too and if they ring you diary the day time and content of the phone call, if they drop in diary it diary everything because if push does come to shove you will want to have that. Your mother's attorney should be able to write a report on your meeting and since it explains your mothers wishes officially that would be really useful too. I am not sure how you manage her finances - I am presuming on line and if that is so print off anything you can going back from when you took over. Identify the promissory not and note also whether and what has been paid back to date and explain how your mother has handled that via the will (you might want a copy of the will to be available should they wish to see it)

Given what has happened I would be surprised if they ruled against you BUT there could be one fly in the ointment if your mother still lives with your sister. if your brother has an arrest warrant out against him he is not going to challenge (much as he might want to, if only to get his hands on more money). There might be a need to acknowledge rent paid to sister or moneys paid to her for food lodge and possibly care (Id like to think she was being paid if she is doing substantial care as indeed you should be for the work you do - I am not a believer in giving up your financial stability to care for a loved one.

You might want to consider ahead of time what you want to do with your mum. Is she going to a facility? If so you will need to be the one who organises that and I suspect that this is one of the reasons you are seeking guardianship ....to ensure her care is the best it can be

It is not the best of advice - I am British but I would look at it from every angle that your siblings might try to wriggle on and provide every scrap of evidence you can glean. If you go visit and want to speak to Mum alone and they won't let you well there is a case for them isolating her which would be difficult to prove but if proven is abuse especially as you manage everything for her.

Better to have have a cart load of stuff that is not needed than miss the vital piece
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I have to say I'm disappointed by the responses because I've yet to see an answer to the original question I posted - seems I'm getting more questions and comments than answers. So please let me clarify several points that have come up. First, I come from a family where the man is always in charge and money/finances/legal matters are never discussed. That being said, my older brother was given responsibility to look after several of my family members from a legal and financial perspective - my grandmother (who was once a well off woman and died penniless), a great aunt (who was the victim of elder and financial abuse - her entire life was taken over by two acquaintances. They stuck her in a nursing home and they took everything from her), another grandmother (virtually ignored), and now my Mother. My brother (unbeknownst to me) allowed all of these things to happen while he was the designated POA, Executor and apparently the sole beneficiary to my grandmother and great aunts estates. My grandmother's wealth and assets were all transferred to him (of which he's pretty much squandered), my aunts finances were taken and my brother did NOTHING to help. All of these things occurred in a very hush hush manner - I was probably too young to understand and too trusting of my brother. It wasn't until YEARS later that I learned of the behind the scenes things that went on. I trusted that my brother was taking care of my Mother (why - that's because on the surface everyone trusted him and expected the MAN to do what's right) - however, it wasn't until a few years back when my Mom asked me to help her with a banking matter. Then I learned she had six figures in a bank, earning NO INTEREST - for 2 or 3 years. I was livid. So, I helped her find a better solution to that matter. I found a better place for that money and after she agreed to my suggestion, asked my brother to help her move her money and asked that he send me the paperwork showing that my instructions were followed. **crickets** so about 6 months later - my Mom hands me a stack of paper, in it is the bank paperwork showing me that my instructions weren't followed. There was also a check made payable to my brother for thousands of dollars the same day the bank transfer occurred. There was also a hand written "promissory" note in the stack of papers. I was beyond livid! After pondering what I should do (2 or 3 days later) I asked my Mom about what she'd given me - she said she was trying to "help" him. You can't help a grown ass man whose been given EVERYTHING all of his life. I think she was relieved that now someone knew about this little secret. That was when more and more information began to surface. At that point, Mom had also gotten the diagnosis of early stage dementia - at which time we made an appointment to see her lawyer. Her lawyer informed me that Mom had made me POA (without my knowledge) and PRIOR to all of these transactions occurring. The lawyer also suggested the removal of my brother as my backup POA and made (at the request of Mom) a modification to her will indicating that the money needed to be recouped if it had not been before the time of her death. Also during this meeting the lawyer was informed about the dementia diagnosis, discussed the possible need for a guardianship and at that time Mom instructed the attorney of whom she would want to have that responsibility and it was recorded by her lawyer. After this meeting, I immediately changed my Mom's bank accounts from all over town to one regional bank, updated her accounts with all of her PODs (as the attorney had instructed her to do years ago and it was never done), changed all of her bills to automatic payment, took all of her valuables to a safety deposit box, etc. I secured all of her money and assets because I wanted to ensure that my brother DID NOT do to her what he's done or neglected to do for the other family members he was supposed to care for. So to answer the comment made that bad things happened under my watch - that would be a negative. In fact, her situation is far more secure under my watch AND I've never borrowed a PENNY from my mother - on the contrary I've spent more money on her than my siblings combined.
Since I have essential blocked my brother from accessing my Mom's "stuff" - I've now become the devil (and we were once close). I monitor her spending to make sure no one is forcing her to spend her money unwisely. I monitor her credit card usage (her card was used twice by two of my siblings - for her - but both of them forged her name on the receipt. Her attorney was made aware of that and both of them were strongly told NEVER to do it again or suffer the consequences). I monitor EVERYTHING - it is my part-time job. I manage all of her prescriptions, her doctor's appointments, her insurance, all of her bills, etc.
My mother has an elder law attorney (for the past 15 years) and we are working with another attorney (referral/one of her colleagues) on the guardianship.

I simply thought I could ask the forum a question and perhaps get some first hand advice because I always research everything to make sure I am well informed. I'd love if we could stay on topic but it appears that's not the case.

Thanks to those who tried to help out...
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OhJude - BTW, my beloved father was 1/2 Brit, 1/2 Scot - as far a the laws go over there I imagine he'd be terribly confused, loll! Dads mother was London born and his father from the Shetland Islands. They met in a field hospital during WWI - grandma was an officer there helping to run the hospital - Lord, she was a tough old bird who lived to be 97. When they married both families completely disowned them.
Sorry to be so off topic - my bad! Another BTW - ever hear of J.D. Ratter?
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OhJude - but you legally can have your King Charles Spaniel by your side if you drop dead in Parliament! The dog can stay, unfortunately your corpse will be charged with a crime.
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That and the fact that each of your states doesn't seem that united when it comes to the law...which as a Brit confuses the h*ll out of me although I guess Scottish law is different from English law (though based upon it). but then of course our laws always make sense (NOT) ......did you know for example .... It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament .... like you have a choice!!!!
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TheOne - regarding the advice given here. I'm not a veteran here by any stretch - been here about three months. When it comes to how to deal with my mom, my siblings and often even the NH I have found the advice invaluable. In the beggining I was stunned on a regular basis that someone, sometimes several someones, was going through, or had gone through the exact same thing that I was! The sheer comfort in that alone was profound. I don't think I've ever asked for legal advice or even about anything surrounding a legal situation, as you are now. However, every now and then I'll be reading a post regarding a legal situation and in regards to a particular piece of advice find myself thinking "that just doesn't sound right" or from my limited legal experiences in my mothers situation "that's not how it worked for us". So this is what I think - even if a poster claimed to be a current, practicing elder law attorney, take any legal advice with a grain of salt and/or a jumping off place for doing your own research. The poster isn't likely trying to mislead you on purpose but may be giving advice based on their own specific situation. Maybe the advice is out-dated or maybe it's specific to their home state. I love GardenArtists advice in the legal arena but you'll notice she often qualifies it with "this is not my area..." or "when I was a..." I think although other posters may not say that and certainly sound knowledgable and experienced one has to mentally insert those qualifiers.
NOW - no one take offense here, please!!! I am not singling anyone out or pointing a finger. You are all smart, amazing, caring, experienced people. I'm just saying what I think you would - check your facts before taking any advice as gospel when it some to matters of serious consequences, be it legal or medical.
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Consider elder mediation. Mom's verbal expression that she wanted you to be co-guardian may not mean that much if it was not written down. On the other hand, if there is documentation it should be strongly considered by the lawyers and courts, especially with evidence of brother's misappropriation of funds. The details of the POA documents may make a difference too. Here's hoping that in mediation fails, the best people have the best lawyers and win - because that way, Mom wins.
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Laws vary by state, so I would consult with an attorney who regularly appears in guardianship cases in that county. There are state and local rules you will need to follow. I wouldn't try to wing it alone. Your mom's attorney is not actually your attorney.

Some states do allow out of state residents to be guardian, as long as they have a duly appointed Resident Agent. Get legal advice on how to do this.

Some states allow 2 guardians. There may be Guardian of the Person for medical issues and Guardian of the Estate for financial purposes. Or just one General Guardian who handles both.

I would seek legal advice before the hearing.
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and is brother's latest behavior documented?
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TheOne: we ask for clarifying statements if it helps respond to an inquiry, voluntarily posted.

The attempt is to make informed answers, but we'll never know the entire situation so answers are based on those facts available.

There are many posters who aren't even able to write clearly, so answers are always necessarily couched by what has been written that's understandable. That's not your case - I 'm just saying that people here are responding to the information given, and it's not always clear what has happened, who did or didn't do what, or what's really going on.

In your post, it was unclear about how some of the events unfolded.
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Pamstegma - what exactly is your area of expertise? Are you a lawyer? Judge?
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Let me clarify - money was NOT mishandled "under my watch". The POA was changed bc of this and my brother was the POA when he "borrowed" the money. Do you all ask clarifying questions before making uninformed statements? Now I question whether I should have even posted this question.
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Garden Artist - I started managing her finances BECAUSE I found out about the loans she made. Before that I was not involved - she did not discuss her finances and no matter how I offered to assist - she said she was fine - I'm guessing bc she was taking advice from my brother thinking he knew what he was talking about?
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TheOne, Yes the Judge will look at the current POA and carefully note that thousands of dollars have disappeared under your watch. My bet is that for that reason alone you won't be appointed. Add the contesting siblings to the mix and the brother who has exerted undue influence and BINGO you get an independent guardian.
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I'm wondering how with your education and professional experience you could manage her finances for years without knowing that she had lent your brother a large sum of money as well as the fact that he was an authorized signatory on a checking account? Not to be critical, but apparently somehow some of her finances weren't being monitored.

If that happened before you became proxy and began managing her finances, it's one thing, but if it happened afterward, I would guess that you can expect your siblings to raise the issue if they contest guardianship, and I suspect a hearing judge might also wonder how this could happen.

Just saying...be prepared to address this issue.
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At Pamstegma - my understanding is that the judge will first look at the current POS and that is me. I've done more 3000 miles away than the three siblings close by have done combined for my Mother and have done so for years.
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My mother was diagnosed with dementia some time ago and so she met with her attorney and decided that in the event of a guardianship - she specified the two children she wanted to have that responsibility. I have two other siblings that I know are going to contest it. I'm trying to ensure I have everything I need in place to factually demonstrate they are not fit to do so. One sibling has financially exploited my Mom and I have documentary evidence of that. My other sibling is a bit unstable - I have emails from her basically spelling that out. So I'm asking what else do I need to have in place. B
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I don't understand. How can mom agree that she's mentally incompetent and grant guardianship? Am I reading this correctly?
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"In the best interest" has historically been someone within the Judge's jurisdiction, so if they screw up, the judge can hold them accountable immediately. It's rather difficult to subpoena someone 3000 miles away.
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Pamstegma - that's not true. This is straight from the 2015 Indiana Laws on Aging...
"Guardian. Someone appointed by a court to make decisions for an incapacitated person. In Indiana, conservator and guardian mean the same thing.
Almost any capable adult can serve as guardian. A county Division of Family and Children or a private charity can be a guardian. A non-resident person or corporation can serve as guardian if it is in the best interests of the person under
guardianship." AND I've already consulted with THREE lawyers none of which stated this (not to mention one of my best friends who is a lawyer and said that statement is not correct).
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Judges do not appoint someone who lives outside their jurisdiction. Nominate your sister with the medical background for guardian of the person, that includes medical decisions. Nominate an independent guardian, selected by the judge, to handle the estate of the ward (mom), that way the caregiver (sis) can get paid for her services without creating a conflict of interest. I am a guardian in NY.
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I don't have an answer on how you deal with the family, but legally check the laws in your state. In my state for POA and for guardianship there can only be one..there is no such thing as co-guardianship even if the patient wants two people as guardians. This legal qualification is based on stories such as yours, when the co-appointees cannot agree.

I see that your family has serious issues involving violence and this matter is of prime importance but please check to make sure it can even happen...in my state it cannot.

One final legal comment...no matter where mom is living, the person who owns the house has the right to decide who enters. Just because mom is residing there, the owner of the house (not crazy sister) can ban crazy sister from the house, and this IS legal.

Angel
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