How to regain guardianship of my mother in another state who was declared incapacitated with a hoarded home?

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I had no idea my mother was in living in deplorable conditions. I haven't been able to reach her by phone in years. She didn't answer her phone. The Department of Aging in Pennsylvania was contacted because someone stole her credit card. I received a letter on Sept. 2, 2016, from a Protective Services investigator to contact them if I was the daughter I immediately contacted them and they told me a Petition for Guardianship hearing was set up for September 6, 2016, which was four days after I received that letter. I live in the state of Florida, and my mother (I come to find) was an extreme hoarder. My sister lives in Pennsylvania near my mother, but she has a record for a DUI and no longer drives. (I don't think they allow her to be guardian with a criminal record). A guardianship agency was assigned for six months, and apparently this will be revisited then. I didn't know if I could handle the responsibilities being out of state. The home she owns was condemned! Did I make the right decision? Wouldn't I have to be closer to her home to be sure the belongings in her home were protected? Apparently, she had no POA. I am sick over this!!

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After being out of contact with your mother for so long, do you really feel up to the task of taking on a guardianship? That's not a criticism, but it is an observation.

You wrote that you were unaware of the condition of the house and hadn't spoke by phone for years. I assume that you also hadn't visited and really weren't involved in her life.

Assuming responsibility at this point could very easily be overwhelming.

Although I'm adamantly opposed to guardianship intervention on a general basis, I think in this situation it might be better to let the state handle your mother's care, unless you're prepared to move to be closer to her. For someone stepping in at this level of complexity, it may be well beyond anything you could or would want to handle.

Your obligation as a daughter isn't to step up to the specific guardianship responsibilities yourself, but in my opinion it would be to see that she is getting adequate care and treatment, and perhaps that's with the state's intervention.
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Is the state going to file for guardianship themselves? If I lived in FL and my mother in PA, then I would allow the state to assume guardianship. The hoarding suggests to me that she is mentally ill and would not be a good candidate for long-distance management. The only other option I see is for you to move your mother to FL so you can keep an eye on things.
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I'd be glad that someone stepped in and is now in charge of protecting your mom's welfare. Thank goodness, because sometimes terrible things happen to people living in those conditions.

Where is you mom now? Was she moved out of the house? Does she own the home? Does she have other assets? Does she have medical or mental health issues, besides hoarding?

It may be a good idea to consult with an Elder Law attorney in PA. They can advise you of your rights and responsibilities of a Guardian. Often, the Guardian has to be bonded to cover the Ward's assets, so you have to have good credit. You may have to have a person in PA to agree to be involved as well, since you live out of state. The requirements vary by state.

It sure is a huge responsibility. I can't imagine having to ensure that someone is safe from hoarding. This disorder is very challenging. I'd get a lot of information about this disorder and all the details of your mom's situation in making my decision. It could require a lot of your time.
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