Questions about Guardianship. What are the pros and cons?

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My parent is starting to give things (property) away. I have an appointment with a geriatic lawyer to get gaurdianship. It won't go over well with the recipiant of the land grab, but the care giver is saying that a nursing home is in his near future. he will need those funds. I have a mother who is very healthy and entering dementia. I see 10-15 years of it in our future with her. The funds need to be there for her care as well. I would love to hand it to a gaurdian that none of us know, and hope they don't steal it away or over chage for their services. I get nothing, and would take nothing, although I expect a ton of grief. I do not think that there would be much more to it than what I am doing now. It would just stop him from giving away the estate before he is destitute. My advice from those that know me, say to conserve his money and be the gaurdian myself. But what does that open me up for? I can not afford legal services. Could I be sued? What is the down side of gaurdianship?

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A conservatorship seems like your best bet.
Hope it all works out.
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Thank you all. My computer is on it's last gasp and I may not get back with you for some time, but I would like all of you to know that your counsel has meant so much to me. It is easier to see things from other people's eyes sometimes. All of you have valid comments and I need to keep all of them in mind as I progress.
if I have to end up at a lawyer, I will spend my father's money. That seems only fair...to me anyway.
I thought about it last night and this may be his ploy to get my mother to move back in with him. He wouldn't move in with us, but he would expect us to move in with him. That just won't happen. Some how, someone, some where should have to sleep in the bed they made with out depending on me to streighten it out all the time. I am just getting so weary of them.
Thank you all for being there!
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We must not assume anything. If one were to read all gvergrl's posts, they would know more of the facts. We can't give wise counsel without them, and there are more dynamics than aluded to. In my county, Guardianship and Conservatorship are two different things, so it's best to ask your county. They can give you a booklet of guidelines, and direct you from there. In the case of my parents, I consulted with free legal services (available for seniors in our county), and they directed my steps. I also talked with several lawyers (at no charge) through my parent's senior center. They can direct you as well. That's where the one told me I could do it without paying an attorney to do it. I am ever-grateful to him, and if I ever did need one, I would choose him!

Gvergrl, you're dealing with a lot with all your circumstances. You may not be able to protect the assets from one for the other without assistance and wise counsel. You can't be sued unless you do something wrong. But sounds like family dynamics call for more than simple intervention could prevent. You may want to make some phone calls or visit your county Probate today, call Legal Services (free to seniors), your local Commission on Aging, and get some direction from experts. (At least you'll have some of your questions answered.) I researched every resource in my parent's county for months before finally making a decision. Ask God for help, and depend on him to direct your steps. I'll be praying for you as well. Hope all's well with your mom and you. Take care g/f, SS
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Call the public guardian first. Even if you end up hiring a lawyer, it will be so very expensive. Get it on the record that he is shedding property indiscriminantly. Whatever his motivations it doesn't sound as if he is thinking things out clearly.

I think the reality check is that any person accepting the property is taking advantage of him. Do what you can, he has no idea how sad it will be when the fair weather friends are gone along with his money. The world can be a harsh place for seniors with no resources. If you can help prevent the rude awakening, then you have done a good thing for him and the family.

If it is another one of his kids who is benefitting from his generosity then it may be worse. Do you remember your Shakespere? One play in particular; King Lear is still timely today. You are wise to recognize what you can and cannot do. Take care, it won't be easy but you will be glad that you dealt with the problem head on.
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OH! you don't think he could be unloading things so that he HAS to move in with me, do you?
Would a parent do that? yes. HE would. Oh no!
He better move in with the kid that got all of the property!
I feel sick to my stomach.
Off to a lawyer! absolutely!
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Nuts. I am very faint of heart.
As a matter of fact... I feel faint now.

We have a family trust, but as was pointed out to me, once property is given away, it is gone. He has every legal right to do so. He has always given important things away to strangers in bars... can you imagine what could happen in a nursing home?
drunkeness or dementia, it isn't right mindedness. He brags to be a big shot and then hands things over to make a friend.
All I know for sure...
HE ISN"T MOVING IN WITH ME!
all I have gotten is a hard time.
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Conservatorship and Guardianship are the same thing. If you chose to file, you will have to petition the court and file documents requesting conservatorship of the person;the estate; or both. It is a lengthy process, even if it is filed on an emergency basis, because the court assigns an investigator, an attorney for the person who would be the conservatee, and requires time for notification and response to all interested parties - family, etc. If you are applying for conservatorship of the estate and there is property and assets you will have to provide information about those assets, wait for the investigation, prove to the courts satisfaction that you are able to comply with the reporting requirements and in most cases will be required to post a bond. You would be responsible for quarterly reports, audits, filings with IRS, etc. You will undergo an annual review, and the court may determine that your status as a conservator is provisional - or limited.

Conservatorship is not inexpensive and it is time consuming. There is a fair degree of oversight. Do some research, it is not a panacea if there is contention in the family about assets.

Keeping in mind that your goal is to keep your parent safe, good luck, but be aware that it is a process that is not for the faint of heart.
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Thank you everyone.
Conservitor sounds less expensive. Our state has now set up a $2500 fileing fee to have someone declared incompetent.

It shouldn't have be so difficult to try to do the right thing.
life is strange.

One good hard cry and a slushie, I'll be fine.
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Remember - if you do not want to be guardian you will not need to take all of those steps - call the public guardian's office and put it in process for them to do it.

if you want to stop depletion of assets, you do need to act. Keep a record and remember that if the person receiving the money or property is not on the up & up, it is g-o-n-e. Good luck again & do not be intimidated by the process or the court system.
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Guardianship protects the person, to help make personal decisions, such as what medical care they receive and where they live. This doesn't cover their finances.

What you need to do is go to the Court to file a $20.00 Petition for Appointment of Conservator or Protective Order. You can check the box: "the adult has property that will be wasted or dissipated unless proper management is provided." But you need a reason, such as: "The individual is an adult unable to manage his/her property and business affairs effectively due to: (again, boxes) mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, etc." This probably needs to be backed up by a Physician's statement of incapacity, etc.

I requested an immediate Protective Order, pending the regular hearing,because: their estate was in "imminent risk of dissipation, and vulnerability..."

I was told (by an attorney) that I do not need a lawyer to file this petition. That will cost you much more to pay him/her to do the paperwork for you, and you still have to get the financial records, etc. Attorneys can charge $220.00 an hour, or more, to do what you can do yourself. (I know because I did it all myself, and you can, too.) There are guidelines to follow, and they have a class to tell you what they expect. There is an additional court fee involved, but it comes out of your parent's assets.

I agree; go Monday morning! They can issue an order to restrict property, bank accounts, IRAs, stocks, investments, etc., saying no monies can be removed without court order, or until you actually obtain Conservatorship. Then you, or a Professional Conservator, will be making the financial decisions.

You can Google Guardianship and Conservatorship online for further questions. Best wishes to you and your loved ones.
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