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It is finally done. Took over 4 months and then another month to get certified papers, so I'm running down on time to do the final inventory (which has to be back-dated to August - gonna be interesting putting this together). My dad's finances are very, very spread out. There is a lot of files to go through. He didn't want this in the first place so I figure I will take a day off work and go over there when there is a caregiver there to help distract/calm him down as I scan documents I need. Unfortunately, this is the only part of his brain that functions OK but the conservatorship is needed since he can no longer physically write the checks and does not want to spend money where needed (i.e. he needs more care hours per week but doesn't want to pay for them, won't let anyone set him up with a medic alert pendant even though he just fell in the garage again, won't purchase decent food to eat, etc.)


I will have access to very little of his money but the attorney says it is a start. I plan to have his caregiving service send me the twice monthly invoices and I will pay them from the conservatorship account. However, he is insistent on having me continue to pay for monthly bills from his own checking account and wants to be in charge of determining which account his retirement checks get deposited to, how much cash he keeps on hand, etc. The attorney has told me that at some point I need to wrestle this away from him but it is a delicate thing. It would be so much easier to take it over myself. He gets so wound up every month trying to figure out his finances. I was a bit disappointed to find out that in our state I cannot use online/electronic banking to pay his bills. They want cancelled checks. Has anyone else gone through this process with someone who still sort of has it together but really shouldn't be managing their own money? His anxiety is totally up right now. He about had a meltdown on Sunday and called me 10 times in just a few hours (that's after he called my sister four times and our care manager 3-4 times). His anxiety is very high right now and it is partly because of this.

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I don't understand this statement either "He would not approve the guardianship/conservatorship if I did not leave the majority of his accounts alone so the ones I have access to will be enough for now." My father most definitely didn't approve of my conservatorship: told the guardian at litum that he didn't need a conservator, the doctors were the incompetent people, and if he did need a conservator I was the last person on earth he would pick. My mother and one sibling supported me and the judge wouldn't even consider the brother my Dad wanted. So the judge approved my guardianship petition and that was the only needed approval.

Is this a matter of the court has granted conservatorship but you have some kind of side deal with your Dad? You may think you are being kind to "phase" in taking things over but if you have conservatorship YOU are responsible for ALL your father's resources; you really don't have the option of leaving anything in your father's control. First, you will still have to report on it to the court and will be responsible for any monies not spent in your father's care and/or best interest. Second, Dad's spending could easily impact future Medicaid eligibility if you cannot justify/document it. Third, I don't think it's kind to continuously argue with Dad. Take over, even if there's a big argument, and let the wound begin healing.

If you are the conservator, I would recommend removing all financial records from your father's home before he has a chance to destroy them.

Because my father's vascular dementia is kinda strange (personality profoundly degraded, memory still fairly good, thinking pretty messed up, executive decision gone) I've taken the "role" of parent to a teenager. If Dad wants something that's reasonable (newspaper/magazine subscription, new cane/walker/pillows, small fridge), I get it. It is his money that he worked hard to earn over a lifetime. It needs to last long enough to fund care for him and my mother but he should still be able to have some small comforts and a few hundred dollars a year isn't going to make much difference when we're spending thousands every month for MC. I think you need to take a similar position/stance with your father.
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Babs I'm confused.
I think we all assume when you mention conservatorship that you are talking about a power granted after you went before a judge and gave evidence that your father was no longer legally competent - if that is the case then your father has no say and there is no legal reason for his wishes to be accommodated. The fact that you mention his demands and that your lawyer apparently is urging you to consider them makes me wonder if you are merely in possession of a POA and that your father's incompetence has not yet been proven?
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Babs75 Oct 11, 2018
We wrote 2 stipulated judgments into the guardianship: 1) I cannot move him to assisted living without the recommendation of a physician (that's just a phone call away) and 2) I cannot sell his cars. This is the only way he would approve it. On the conservatorship, he has a great deal of money for someone his age, more than he will ever need for the rest of his life (he is a penny-pincher - product of the depression). He will keep a checking account for himself where his SS is deposited. He will not give up control of his pension check or other dividends he gets. I will have to make address changes on these accounts and he will lose it BIG TIME. He has a couple large accounts which he does not want anyone to touch. So those have been restricted as well as a couple other retirement accounts. I will not be able to access them. I have cash available but if i need more, i could cash in some stock (which would not make sense since he would have to pay tax on it). If I need more cash, I guess we will go back to court. Today, we got into it pretty good on the phone. I am taking tomorrow off to go over there to pull documents I need for the beginning inventory. He won't let me have them. My attorney was out for the afternoon so I emailed his attorney. He told me to just write down everything I need rather than scan it like i wanted. I want account numbers, phone numbers etc so I can set up online accounts. I told his attorney he must tell my father why I need the information. Explain to him that the court requires it. My father wants a list of documents I am allowed to have so I told the attorney to tell him all bank statements, stocks, retirement accounts. I told dad all of this today but he will not believe me until he hears it from the attorney.

I have certified copies of both the guardianship and conservatorship. I have gone to one of the banks with my conservatorship paperwork. They made a copy last Friday and told me they would get back to me after it is reviewed by their legal department. I will go to the other bank tomorrow.
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Is it possible that someone can override the electronic banking and having you provide the copies of the cancelled cheques. It seems like an added expense that is useless. Could be some clerk with power play issues just trying to make it harder. Imo
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I don't understand "I will have access to very little of his money but the attorney says it is a start." As guardian/conservator of my father I have access to everything. I have complete decision making authority under annual court review. I'm allowed to use online banking too. Is it the court or your attorney that wants checks? Most banks do not provide canceled checks in bank statements anymore and if they do there are additional charges. My county chancellor likes saving money too much to require spending more of it for anything that doesn't directly benefit the ward.

Although I generally like to do things in stages and obtain consent if not cooperation when handling things for others, the fact that I needed to petition for guardianship proved that method had already failed with my difficult father. When guardianship was granted I immediately took control. I still listen to my Dad and explain my decisions at least a couple of times (although his vascular dementia meant he couldn't understand why my way was better most of the time) and then went with a calm statement of "this is the path your doctors (or the court) thinks is best and I agree so this is what is going to happen". I don't see wrestling matches each month over which bills to pay from which account beneficial for you or your father. If giving your father the bills and an old checkbook and letting him write meaningless checks provides your father with some comfort then I'm all for it. Don't waste a lot of time and energy arguing real issues with someone who isn't capable of meaningful understanding.

First thing I did was open new checking and savings accounts and transfered my father's direct deposits into the new checking. As soon as I confirmed the direct deposits and scheduled insurance payments were using the new conservatorship account, I closed everything else. I pay all his bills electronically using the checking account, transferring funds electronically from savings as needed. I don't think I've written a check since the first payment to the MC. I keep a bookkeeping style journal in excel of every transaction and add a short description (usually the bill/invoice date and number). Yearly I submit hard copies of the my journal, bank statements, bills, and any receipts to the court. I get a letter a couple of weeks later stating my report has been reviewed and approved by the court.

Although my father would understand my report to the court I do not provide him with such information because it only leads to stressful arguments over how he would rather spend his money. For example, Dad feels that keeping the proceeds from the sale of his house in a savings account and bond funds is a total waste when it could be better "invested" in get rich quick schemes. MC is a total waste of money too, according to Dad. I tell him I'm paying his bills which is mostly just the MC now and that he has enough in savings to keep paying that bill for years to come since his SS and pension covers most of the MC cost.
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Babs75 Oct 10, 2018
I am at my wit's end today. Trying to be functional at work but dealing with my dad. I have taken time off work tomorrow to go to his house to work on the beginning inventory. Taking my laptop and a portable scanner. Conservatorship was awarded the end of August but we didn't get certified papers for a month. His money is very spread out in numerous stocks, accounts, IRA's, etc. I know where all the statements are filed at his house as I have been helping him with his finances for 3-1/2 years. I need to come up with numbers as close to the end of August as I can. I believe I have to account for in and out transactions after that date so I want copies of statements to keep track of the beginning balances. As it would be rare of me to come over mid-week, I stalled and stalled telling him why I need to come over and finally had to tell him. He says he will not let me touch any of his files nor scan anything into my computer without his attorney approving (I know him and had wanted to use him for he conservatorship but couldn't because of the conflict). I need my attorney to call his attorney to explain this to him but my attorney is gone for the afternoon so we're hung up until tomorrow (although I put an email in to his attorney but he may not answer). The more my dad makes me mad, the more I want to just pull of this from him and quit being nice. He wants to be in charge of where his pension check goes, how much he takes out in cash, and at this point since August, I'm not sure of what he's done so accounting for it may be difficult. No, I don't have access to all of his money. He would not approve the guardianship/conservatorship if I did not leave the majority of his accounts alone so the ones I have access to will be enough for now. He has also said he absolutely will not pay for my attorney fees but guess what? I will be doing so from the conservatorship account. I have two more banks to get to tomorrow but they will only take copies of my conservatorship paperwork and will get back to me after their legal departments have had a chance to review them. And what he doesn't know yet is that home health is joining me tomorrow to get him started on med management (badly needed for a long time but I did not have the authority to authorize). That is going to put him over the top......
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I suggest you resort to a little bit of trickery - if you were able to gain conservatorship that means he isn't capable of looking after this himself. Perhaps you could cancel his chequing account but allow him to write cheques as usual (which of course would be worthless pieces of paper at that point), this would give him the illusion of still being in control. And when he wants to review his accounts tell him that the bank has done away with paper statements, it's the modern way🤨
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This is confusing, and clearly difficult. Who are 'they' that want cancelled checks? Here it is difficult without large fees to get cancelled checks back again from the bank!

Could you open another account and progress through getting enough paid into it so that you can handle most of the expenditure without his involvement? My first husband also 'spread out' our finances in multiple accounts, so when we separated they all had to be closed. Could you do the same? If your father is still managing one account, he may not realise that things have been simplified a great deal to reduce his stress.
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cwillie Oct 10, 2018
I expect she means void cheques?
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