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We are about to do the Guardianship on Mom - I'm told this will "put me on the street"

I've been doing this for over 8 years without a paycheck and the lawyer sez "Get a job!"

I need to tread water for a while. Do I have any other recourse other than to get my own lawyer?

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We live in Texas. I need to start separating the facts from the rumors and scuttlebutt... I think I'm getting too much bad information.

I also need to get a 2nd opinion from another lawyer. Which is difficult when I can't leave Mom by herself.
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Hank, what state do you live in? Have you been caring for Mom in her own home? I'm in Mass. and there is a law that says a care giver can not be thrown out of the house of the parent they have been living in and caring for when they are placed in a facility. Fortunately we got a lawyer to have Mom sign over the house to me over 3 years ago, but now I have the added burden of paying for all the bills that come with owning a home. Mom is paying me "room and board" for her apartment. It's a 4 family house, but now that her LTC $$ is exhausted, there isn't much left to pay for both outside help and me, which I could not do without as she is total care..
I had to quit my job 5 years ago and my husband lost his 2 years ago, so it's a struggle to get through every day here too! I will be 62 in August and plan on collecting SS right away. My husband had to start last year at 63. There aren't many laws out there to protect the care givers and it really sucks because most of us are emotionally, physically and financially destroyed by the time all is said and done.
I would say do some research on your computer and contact the department of elder affairs in your state and see what laws they may have to protect you from being tossed into the street after all these years. Good luck!
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Hank442, you need good legal counsel. It sounds like you are being bullied and jerked around a bit. Some lawyers will work pro-bono. Take a deep breath and try to relax, your thoughts will clear a little.

This lawyer has scared you because you think you are going to be homeless and jobless. If you are getting guardianship of your mother, why is the home being sold? Does she need to go to a nursing home? If she ownes the business and home, why does it have to be liquidated at this point? Is there no money except in the home and business?

If the POA is void, you will need guardianship to pay her bills and deal with her insurance. Basically she has no representation until someone is her guardian. I hope you can find someone to help you and explain you and your mother's options without unnecessarily making you upset.

And if your sister is not on your side and you are getting information from her, i would take a good long look at what she is up to.
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The original lawyer suggested that I play the good guy and Sis play the bad guy (we were already set up for it)

My biggest weakness in this is I stay so busy and exhausted with Mom that I often get blindsided. I'm kinda like the frog in the pot of cold water that's been heated up until it's boiling to death and doesn't realize it until it's too late.
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My sister has been handling a lot of the paperwork and insurance stuff with the lawyer while I'm tied up with Mom, (who today was clinging like a 2nd skin).

Mom doesn't yet know we're doing this. Other than that, you're asking questions I really don't have the answers to.

I do know Mom has paid for a "nursing home" policy for 15 years, and the nursing home has to have certain services and credentials for the policy to pay out.
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I am still not clear why you personally did not apply to be your mother's guardian. Is it something you prefer not to do, or is there a reason that you can't apply. Family members are often guardians. Would it be contested by people if you applied?

Caregivers are often in a vulnerable position. Often the parents don't want to lose control of assets and they don't feel they should have to pay their children. They leave all asset transfer to the will. That can go bad, however. Someone may put in 20 years caring for someone, then in one day of anger, a will can be changed. Or end-of-life care may consume everything. I understand the way you feel. I hope that you can find a good legal leg to stand on, so that you are not treated unfairly.

There is so much lip service praising caregivers. I think we should have a legally recognized caregiver bill of rights to keep craziness from throwing cgs into poverty after years of service.
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What has guardianship to do with an insurance policy?
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Correction: the POA is no good because Mom signed it a week before the doctor signed his paperwork.
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The lawyer says the POA is no good since the Dr signed paperwork saying she's incompetent.

The insurance policy won't pay for her care unless we file and get Guardianship (or so I'm told)

Dealing with Mom is like trying to build a model airplane in a room with a rampaging elephant. Go ahead! TRY and glue that little plastic piece to the other piece! Do it and see what happens! First something will hit you in the back of your head and if you try and shake it off and follow through, something else will land right on top of the model and smash it into a zillion pieces!

(This is all figurative, of course. The model airplane could be anything: important paperwork, taxes, a phone call from an old friend, a chore at the house or the shop that needs to be done, whatever)
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Hank4422 I am finding somethings unclear, and it is the basis for your question...
... Why is guardianship necessary for your Mother? Who is being appointed guardianship? Does she have a P.O. A.? I'd like to give you my insight on this because, I had a similar "run around" situation.
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These things can vary from state to state. Here in Texas, the original attorney was hired to prepare our request for guardianship to be presented to the judge. That original attorney sent paperwork to all of the living children and siblings. This paperwork gave each of them the opportunity to sign off agreeing that my husband would be his parents' guardian - or they could submit that they disagreed with the appointment. He wrote to the doctors and collected the medical evidence of their incapacitation.

Original attorney hired another attorney to represent my husband's parents. That attorney was to act independently and assess the situation, visit the inlaws, and represent their interests before the judge.

All costs were paid for out of parents' funds -except for the insurance bond required by the court that we paid for ourselves.

In our case everyone was in agreement. If people disagree, it can get extremely complicated and expensive.'
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What I would LIKE is if the court would let ME liquidate the business and take a commission (I've been told with NO PROMISES that that is possible) This way I stay EMPLOYED for at least 6 or 7 months and I have time to relax between caretaking for Mom and finding a "real job" again.

(I know, I know... Caretaking IS a REAL JOB, but try telling that to the average HR guy)
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We've been bouncing between 3 or 4 different lawyers. This last one is the one we hired to handle the Guardianship. (only one in town who would touch it)

I'm unclear if I'm supposed to get my own lawyer, or if the Guardianship lawyer is trying to cut me off and out???
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Hank, double lawyer part is confusing. And you do have to be careful. It is true that guardianship can be a moneymaker for lawyers and others who do it professionally. Why aren't you asking to be her guardian and make these decisions? If she doesn't want you to at this point - well her current opinion doesn't count if she is incapacitated - the whole point is that they are mentally incapable of making decisions. She gets a lawyer to oversee her interests, you get one to assist you in your presentation to be her guardian and anyone else can hire an attorney and throw their hat into the ring.

My SIL's friend's family couldn't agree on who should be the guardian for their father so the judge appointed a professional. Their dad is now on Medicaid, the house is sold, and the assets have been sold. The guardian has turned responsibilities over to the SNFs' social worker. The social worker called the family and told them the professional guardian had NOT made funeral arrangements.......
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The lawyer did say that a Will would establish Mom's intention to make sure I was taken care of. It would be leverage in the court.

I have also been told that lawyers have to keep copies of all their Wills for 50 years, even if they go out of business. So I have some homework to do.
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I am truly sad for you. Even if a will were to materialize, when elders outlive their money and their assets, there is noting to distribute after they die.
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jeannegibbs - It won't put me immediately on the street, but it might as well. With nothing in the bank to pay utilities with and needing to "get a job" asap, I will need something far more manageable and affordable.

What really bites in all this is the family business that I have taken Mom back and forth to for the last 8 years. - "I'm doing this all for yew!" If Mom has said that once, she's said it a million times. (nothing in writing, it's all manipulation)

I'm told the court will shut the business down and liquidate the contents and property and it will all go to keep her in the home. (Mom has a Will, but it's MIA and the old lawyer who drew it up is out of business)
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OncehatedDIL - You bring up a point I was wondering about (and the sneakiness of lawyers)

Even though I hired the Guardianship lawyer and signed the retainer check, I still need *my own lawyer* (funny how the Guardianship lawyer says nothing about that - and they wonder why they are despised....)
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Is this going to "put you on the street" because Mom's house will be sold and the money put in an account to pay for her care, and you have been living in her house?

I hope that your lawyer can help you protect your interests.

Over and over I see people on this board who don't think it is right to accept a paycheck for caring for their loved ones. I don't understand that attitude at all. We all have to live, we all have expenses, we all have a future to protect. Why shouldn't our loved ones pay their own way (to the extent that they can)? You'd better believe that her nursing home is going to get paid. I wish you'd at least been getting some money to save for the last 8 years, to cushion this transition for you.

I wish you the best. Please keep us informed. We learn from each other.
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Hank4422, I don't agree with that lawyer at ALL. I've been taking care of my mom for 16 years now. The lawyer who drew up my power of attorney papers instructed me that I was to deduct at least $200 a month for helping my mom as I do, I felt strange taking my mom's money for myself. Still do. But you should be compensated for the good that you've done. (I'm sorry I don't have any legal advise for you. But you have my support for sure and I hope that counts a little.)
XO
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If you are seeking guardianship, you have a lawyer and mom has her own lawyer representing her. If Mom's lawyer told you to get a job, what did your lawyer say?
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