My father doesn't want to care for my mother, his wife, and only provides $400 per month for her care. I am unable to work and am behind in all of my bills including my mortgage due to caring for my mother. My mother gets retirement and social security that should be used for her care but it's not. I want to file for custody and guardianship of my mother since I've been providing care for over a year. What steps do I take?

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Conservatorships are for incompetent adults and will place your mom under the court's juristiction. The Judge will decide how her money is spent. They are not cheap money wise or emotionally. Guardianship is for children.

The problem that I have been wrestling with for months and finally reached peace about, is that it will probably tear many relationships apart permanently. The relatives that spent my mom's money will be sued and rightly so, but it is not as easy to accept emotionally as it should be. Doing the right thing for someone in this position is hard in more ways than one.

I agree with jeannegibbs that looking for less drastic actions first is a good idea, but you have to let it go at some point. Otherwise, no one will get what they need and the only people 'getting' anything will be getting luxuries at your mom's expense. Not to mention, loosing any chance of qualifying for medicaid when the time comes.
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The first step is to contact a Elder Law attorney. Perhaps there are less drastic ways to have this money made available for her care. For example, if you have POA and have those two checks deposited to a new account that your father's name is not on that might solve the issue. But if guardianship is needed the lawyer can advise you of what steps are needed.

I would go in with the question, "How can her money be available for only her own use?" rather than specifically asking the guardianship question.

Good luck ... and let us know how this progresses. We learn from each other.
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