I'm getting guardianship for Mom (100). It costs $500. Now what's my responsibility and can I charge the trust for this cost?

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Guardianship is only granted in the event that someone is found to be incapacitated to some degree or fully by the court. If there is a valid POA and health care surrogate in place and no one contests these individuals ability to act then a guardianship is not necessary. If there is a trust and there is a successor trustee, that person would take responsibility for assets within the trust but will not be able to make decisions for "the person" or for property or assets outside of the trust. Guardianship proceedings are state specific. In some states it is required that an attorney be appointed for the alleged incapacitated person and it can get quite expensive. Duties of a guardian, once appointed by the Court, are determined solely by the Court. They range from handing financial affairs to making medical decisions, but each guardianship is unique and depends upon what rights the court allows the ward to retain. It is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in guardianship before petitioning to serve as there is considerable responsibility and liability involved.
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I completely disagree that having a POA discounts the need for a guardianship! Just because you have someone's POA doesn't mean they can't act on their own behalf anymore. Guardianship takes that power away from them. A very important distinction.
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Kukla, you should be able to pass costs of the guardianship on to the trust. Do you have her POA? If so, why do you need guardianship? If not, who has mom's POA? In most states the POA will also be awarded guardianship unless there are extenuating circumstances, like abuse or exploration, breach of fiduciary trust, etc.

Is there a successor trustee of her trust? There is not a simple answer to your question that brings up further questions. Are there siblings?

You need to talk to an elder law attorney. Do not make this decision without consulting with one.
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Every situation and circumstance is different. A POA may work, depending on how it is worded. In order to obtain a guardianship, there must be 2 physician certification of incapacity; the judge will look at those certs and listen to testimony then decide if a guardianship should be granted. There are ways to avoid a guardianship-again each situation is different. Talk with someone who is a specialist regarding POA vs guardianship, they should be able to guide you.
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Does the $500 include lawyer's fees? Or is the $500 just the court charge?
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It should not cost this much to get a guardianship, and if you do not know at this point what it all entails, perhaps you should not be the guardian. Do your homework. You can file for guardianship in your local Probate Court area for court costs. Read the directions, follow their advice and if you are still unclear, get someone else to do this very, very time-consuming duty.
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Contact your local Area Agency on Aging, they have information regarding guardianship and should be able to answer any question you have. I'm agree with above, if there is a POA a guardianship shouldn't be necessary. Every circumstance is different. Guardianship should be the last resort. You would have attorney and filing fees with guardianship. I've heard of it costing more than $500.00. Because each case is different, you really need to speak with someone, contact your local AAA.
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@ferris1 - Guardianship's cost much more than $500. I had to pay over $3,000 to be the substitute guardian for my mom after my step-dad became incapacitated. However, I was able to pay the lawyer out of my mom's assets. The lawyer needs to petition the court for that to happen.
@kukla77 - I agree with the others about POA, if you have one that should be sufficient to handle her financial affairs and with a Medical POA to make medical decisions. Also, a POA is much less controlling (no yearly reporting of both person and property, which is a pain)
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kukla77, you can charge the $500 cost to the trust only if the Judge decides in your favor as appointee. Methinks the $500 was only the initial consult, not the total cost. Maybe you should read what you signed.
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