Do I have any options to legally to take over guardianship? - AgingCare.com

Do I have any options to legally to take over guardianship?

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My 89 year old mom has allowed my drug using, rarely working brother to live with her for over 20 years and to drain her life insurance from my dad. Over a couple hundred thousand. She makes about $20,000-22,000 in as and an pension from my late father.

My brother has abused drugs and my mom has freely given him all her life insurance over 20 years. We helped her through bankruptcy three years ago. Saved her house. She sold her house two years ago, moved into an apartment with him, and he has drained her savings from the sale of her house again.

She is pretty astute, and if I try to get involved, will say she is giving the money to him of her own free will.

She somehow managed to get a small loan that she was behind on. She called my son for some money, not us, and he called us. We called and said we would help if we took over her finances. She agreed. It lasted three weeks with many calls wanting money for "gas and groceries" she never bought.

Part of the budget we worked for her involved me actually putting the gas in her car, and buying her groceries rather than giving her cash that she was then giving my brother.

While putting gas in the car, I went through the glove compartment where I found a document that is providing my brother with $200 a month in food stamps, and one where he pawned a tv.

I questioned this and why she didn't tell us. She became very defensive and evasive.

She called on Monday and removed my husbands name from the account today. I am trying everything I can to figure out what I can do which doesn't seem to be much. It's beyond frustrating.

The bank knows them and knows what is going on. They told her they were glad we were helping earlier this month. Today, the manager gave us her card and they have our numbers if anything weird happens, which includes taking out more than goes in.

My mother has said she wants to die, and that she will no longer be coming to family functions. They are co dependent it appears.

I do have an executed POA which she has forgotten about from when she did her will 10 years ago. If I pull it out she will shut it down I'm sure.

Her apartment is filthy. She uses a walker from a broken knee and hip and he apparently does nothing.

Do I have any options to pursue legally to take over guardianship? She should have plenty of money for her lifestyle yet I am afraid she is not eating because he is forcing her to give him her money.

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I agree that fixing the problems on your own is not likely, since you have no real control. Mom could revoke the POA or just override you. What would make a difference, is if the court examined the situation and found that there was reason to appoint a Guardian, either over financial matters, health or both.

Each state has their own criteria for what proof is involved and what factors they consider. I'd be careful to just say, well, she's doing okay on her own. Do you really think that? Her decisions sound bizarre. I'd suspect the court might find the actions highly irregular. I'd get legal advice to see what is needed in her jurisdiction to prevail in court. It's not just people with dementia who are found incompetent to handle their affairs.

If the court appoints a Guardian, either a family member or a professional person, they will take over the finances and brother will not have access to the funds or be able to exploit, borrow, manipulate, etc.
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As a recovering People Pleaser and Fixer of all problems big and small, I think I can accurately predict that you will never be able to fix this situation so you might as well quit trying - before you do some serious self inflicted damage will all the banging your head against a brick wall. Your mother has made her choice - your brother over you. I know that probably hurts to know but it is what it is. You have been relegated to the corner until it's time for you to get your broom and clean up the mess - again. Have that one last conversation that Babalou has suggested regarding what's going to happen when she needs a higher level of care and that Medicaid won't be an option due to the gifting. Do your best to try to get her to understand the severity of her situation and that you mean what you're saying. Then take yours and hubby's names off any accounts and return any documents. Time to walk away.
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I have a couple questions, does your provide any type of care for your mother...this would include companionship if she is a fall risk and you do not have a backup plan in place? Is her name on the account you have moved the money to? If not, do you provide her with documentation of how the money is spent? Do you let her have any cash since taking over finances...or does she have a say in what groceries you purchase? The bank would not be able to talk to your brother if hes not on the account and why would your mom take your husband only off the account and not you also if shes upset.

In your brother and mother's defense, if your brother receives public assistance in the form of food stamps, it is none of your business. You had no right to question your mother about it and she owed you no explaination about his business.
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My take on these situations is to step away after having the conversation with mom where you tell her that when she needs full time care, it will be brother doing the careging. Becsuse you won't and Medicaid will not be available due her gifting of money.

Just make sure she understands that it's your brother who will be changing her diapers, or paying someone to do so.

Then step away, because she's made her choice.
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If your mom has been enabling your brother for years and years there's little chance that you can break them apart now. The patterns and behaviors are too ingrained.

I agree with Sunnygirl in that you might want to consider consulting a lawyer. However, if your mom is competent I'm not sure the law can prohibit her from giving your brother money if that's what she wants to do.
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I would consult with an Elder Law attorney who handles competency litigation in your mom's jurisdiction. Find out what is normally required in that area. It varies by state. In my state, what the court looks for is if the person is able to handle their affairs, run their own household, manage money, resist exploitation, live in a safe and healthy environment, etc. So, a person could be appointed a Guardian, even if they don't have memory problems. Sometimes, it's lack of judgment that is ruining their estate and their own ability to pay for their own needs.
At the very least, they could order an evaluation. And even if you don't want to be involved anymore, you can ask the court to appoint a professional to take that role.

There's a lot to consider. I wish you the best.
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That's pretty much what I thought I would hear. When my husband spoke to her she called me the third party going through stuff in the car I shouldn't. Turned out today in talking with the branch manager, my brother called the bank and said he thought we were stealing money from her, because we took it all out of her account and put it in a separate one she couldn't access so she had enough to pay her bills. She was totally miffed at us.

It is beyond depressing and I do t want her last few days or years to be a living hell, but it does t appear I can do anything unless I find a way to declare her incompetent.

That then creates new problems as my brother will be homeless.
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She appears to be legally competent, from what you say. Your assessment of co-dependency is correct. Bear in mind your POA only allows you to carry out her wishes, not go against them. She is a willing participant, attempting to buy his affection. My advice is disconnect from two addictive personalities. Let go, Let God.
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