To obtain guardianship over mom, it will cost over $12,000. What is the point of spending all her money to protect it?

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My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in Oct 2016. My sister and I had already spent much time with her, especially my sister, due to two rounds of breast cancer, a mastectomy, & daily treatments. I worked full time then but did all I could. After the dx, Sis was given POA, both durable & medical. We put a home equity line of credit in place to make repairs on her home so that when leased, we'll have an ongoing income which will, along with her SS, pay for her AL apartment. While all this was being put in place we traded nights to feed her and stay with her overnight. She was having delusions and was scared to death in her home. She believed people were in her attic and called the police several times. We finally found a nice ALF that we will be able to afford and moved her in on July 15. So now we just have to manage the repairs, have an estate sale, and find renters! Mother will be cared for properly and we get our lives back. So we thought... First 3 weeks Mother was furious and did all she could to get us to take her back to the house that she hated. Made our lives hell. Then she was put on Aricept and everything changed. She was calm and pleasant. Whew, glad that's over! So we thought... I go for a visit and she's really on edge. Says my brother (who is a 65 yo alcoholic) was just there. That night she reverted back to furious. She accused us of taking her money and checks. (She had no cash and willingly gave up her checks previously). This is still the ongoing attitude. Added twist: As I'm paying her bills and checking her account, I discover that my brother's utilities and auto insurance have been set up for automatic draft from Mother's bank account! He can and does work so there's no reason that this should be the case. I speak with my aunt, who advises that the money be moved out of the account and the bank notified not to pay that going forward. I now am pretty sure that brother's visit was what flipped her switch. I believe he wanted money and that's what brought up the problem of her not having her checks. I did switch the account and informed the bank of my reason. Today he picked up mother and took her to the bank. He told them to change the address and phone number on the account - his of course. He is not, has never been a signer on her account, because she didn't trust him (her words). So the banker called me and let me know. The change was stopped but this shows his manipulation of her. Sis and I spoke to an attorney about guardianship but that will cost $12,000 or more. We're not well off. What is the point of spending all her money to protect her money? Either way, it's gone. She can rescind the POA's at any time and then what? He has done nothing to help us with her care. I tried to involve him in the decisions but he wanted to sell her property right away, as is and when we wouldn't agree he never called or showed up again. He didn't speak to Mother for over 7 months until his electricity was turned off. Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

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Sister you sure have a full plate. I am glad you and your sister are on the same page and have the ALF understanding the situation. Good luck evicting your brother.
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Update: My sister has transferred the Medical POA to me. We feel there are strength in numbers. We each have given a directive the ALF for two different reasons:

I am stating to the ALF that from a medical view, I don't believe that it is in Mother's best interest to leave with her son. The facility now understands that he only upsets her. My mother physically attacked my sister and one of the aides for no reason about 2 weeks ago. I'm quite certain that it was after she spoke with him. After she talks to him, she becomes very agitated. Not only do I worry about her physically and emotionally, but her future is at risk. That brings us to my sister having Durable POA, she has informed the ALF that he could jeopardize all that we have planned to keep paying for her care if he's allowed to take her away from the Assisted Living Facility. I have no doubt that if he gets her away from there, he will have her sign that property over to him. That is really all he wants now. If he gets that, we'd never hear from him again. I'm sure that we could have any paperwork deemed null & void due to her condition, but what a lot of red tape to deal with! Also, just more to upset her. So, they've been given specific instructions that she shall not be allowed to leave with anyone without one of us giving permission. There's only 3 people that I would not give permission to: my brother, his son, and one of his daughters.

I so wish he would just be a decent son and call or come visit his mother and keep things light, easy, and fun. She has a good sense of humor if she's in a good mood. Of course, I've only seen her either depressed or angry in the last several months. Though, the staff all love her and say how she's so sweet and funny. He has not come back and I would hazard a guess that he's spoken with an attorney and learned that he has done this to himself and has nothing on his side in this battle.

Ok folks! Next step, we find out if the RE Broker will list it while he's living there or if I'm required to have him removed first. If he must be removed, we'll be dealing with the sherrif! I'll keep y'all updated.
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Thank you thank you!!!
I'm sorry I didn't answer right away. We are busy in defense mode. I will post results soon. Hopefully, our troubles will help someone else. It's so sad but I've learned that this is a very common problem.
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My heart breaks for you & I will def be in prayer for you & your family. I'm on the other side of some ugliness, though now it's just silence. I cry when I recall that I had to say some of the same stuff to my dad early on. And I think you're right -- they helped to create the situation, but he's still my dad, & I won't let anyone hurt him. Bless you & sis for caring enough to keep on & not walk away.
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I would still highly recommend seeking those restraining orders, as this gives you more legal clout, and the police can get involved if necessary.

I did a search on 'Can DPOA restrict visitor' - first result was LegalZoom, and it does say that "...a medical agent under a durable power of attorney has the authority to restrict or deny visitors access to the principal." So, if your sister's DPOA has discussion about medical agent OR she was also granted MPOA, she CAN tell the facility to not let him and his minions into the place. He can attempt to fight this legally, but it will take him time and money and will not happen overnight.

Best if you read the article yourself, but the only time the above would NOT apply is if the document specifically stated that the POA would not have that power. Most POA documents are standard, run of the mill, so unless someone KNEW in advance, it is not likely this would be the case.

THIS can buy you some time so you can get the restraining orders in place. Although you can start the process and get the temporary restraining order in place (should be able to have that in hand the same day), you should have an Elder Care attorney lined up. Anyone can get a "free" consult. That doesn't do squat for him, but at least having an attorney in the event that he decides to fight you all will be key. As much as you do not need more money flowing out the door, mom's "assets" can be used to pay for this.

You or your attorney told him he would have to move. Has anyone started an eviction process? If he is refusing to go you will need that as well. Even if he hires an attorney, they will have to get a court date and fight it out there - just having an attorney will not get him anything. So it is not like he can get one over on you, so long as you RUN to the court house to start proceedings before he might be able to! Again, that initial restraining order can be in your and your sisters hands the same day.

Document whatever you can (his behavior, mom's condition, etc) and bring all relevant paperwork to the consult with your attorney.
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Keeping this brief to hasten the results!

"So, I'm wondering if we can get a restraining order and how one does that?"

The only one I ever got was initiated by me, with no attorney present. I went to the courthouse and requested it - this was too long ago to recall the details, but I do remember filling out paperwork. What this got was an immediate but temporary restraining order (other party must be served and have an opportunity to respond.) We had to meet with the judge after he was served. The judge reviewed my request and comments, asked very few questions and granted it. Note however that this was only for 4 months (I did not realize that at the time). I had to go through an attorney and the courts to "formalize" it and have it made "permanent". Be sure to check on this if/when granted.

So, make haste to the nearest courthouse and ask for a restraining order. I cannot recall, is your sister local? I believe you can only request one for yourself, but since she is POA, she can request for herself and mom. Details would be good when you fill out the paperwork (mom's condition, all the stuff he's doing, etc.) Be sure to share the information with the staff at mom's place, and provide them with a copy (backs them up if he decides to bring the police - wouldn't hurt to provide them with a copy too).

Kudos to your RN Tam!!!
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Disgustedtoo, I forgot to include this:
Apparently, his daughter is doing ok. I wouldn't be surprised if she pays for an attorney, or her husband is a court bailiff and I would assume that would give him access to a few attorneys that would, at least talk to him. And, when I was looking, I found several that advertise initial consultation is free.

I would hope that any attorney would ask a lot of questions about our mother. I don't believe that he can answer most of them. He knows what properties she has. He doesn't know who her doctor is, what meds she takes, what her medical conditions or illnesses are. He knows nothing of her, because he hasn't been involved, at all.
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So, today, I was at work and received a call from Tam, the RN at Mama's ALF. Our brother was there and said he was taking her out for a "couple of days". She had attempted to reach my Sister (she has POA) but she didn't hear the phone. I told her I would call her and in the meantime, maybe she could talk Mama into staying there? She said she didn't think she could, that Mom was being "snappish" with her and brother was in the room with her. She said that she didn't have a legal right to stop them. Unfortunately, I don't think I have that right either! Well, Tam is AMAZING! She walked in and asked him if he had the POA (a total bluff) and he said he would go to an attorney and bring her some paperwork! He left very quickly. Hmm, thought he wanted to "visit" with Mama?

Well, that made me rethink my idea about not turning him in. Disgustedtoo, I know that you're right, HE has continued this exploitation of her all these years and even though I don't want to do this, I have to protect our mother. He doesn't want her living there because he believes it would be best for her. That type of argument would be welcome! He wants her there so she can continue to pay all his bills and ultimately, he expects to have that property as his own!

None of this surprises me. What happened next did...I called TX Dept of Aging, who told me to call Adult Protective Services. I explained what has happened and asked to speak to someone that could let me know if his actions actually rise to their standard of exploitation / financial abuse of an elder. I was told that I just need to call an attorney. I was surprised to learn that if she's not a client they cannot help me. WOW! They apparently are fine with him taking her money. As long as he doesn't take government money, they don't care!

So, I'm wondering if we can get a restraining order and how one does that? If he wants to get an attorney and ask to see "the books", I'm fine with it and I know my sister is, as well. We have nothing to hide. But, taking her away from where she is being cared for, is not acceptable and even kind of scary. I'm worried that if she becomes very agitated, something bad could happen. He is a heavy drinker and has been violent with both me and my sister (as adults), and he's been accused of violence by every one of his 5 ex-wives. I do think he would go get drunk with his buddies down the road and leave her there alone. This is an old mobile home right on a very busy highway. Not a place for a delusional woman that frequently doesn't know where she is when she wakes up.

If I don't find a better answer tonight, I'm planning to go to my local police station and ask to speak to someone. My sister and I are really concerned about this. We are both afraid of him. To the point that if we go to Mother's house we try to go only if the crew is there working!
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Also, use the search here on AgingCare to find "Preventing Financial Abuse and Exploitation of Elderly Parents" and related articles.

If the elder being abused has cognitive issues, be sure to let APS know this, as any interview with them, which appears to be on the 'to do' list, should be avoided or advocated by whoever is placing the call. Provide documents to prove the elder is not competent.
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OP and anyone else in this situation: search for "Would You Be Willing To Report A Family Member For Financial Elder Abuse?" and read the article...
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