My son and I are trying to obtain guardianship over my mother, who is 88 and in the last stages of Alz/dementia. I've been her care taker for over a decade, and moved into her home at her request. My son also lives here, and quit college 3 years ago to help me care for her.
We knew there would be an initial hearing, but weren't informed of it until 30 minutes prior, so we rushed to get down there. I had spoken briefly to an attorney, who informed me that he would need the paperwork concerning the situation...my son and I received NO paperwork prior to this hearing. We got the paperwork 4 hours after the hearing was over. We didn't have any legal advice as we were waiting on this paperwork, and couldn't very well get a lawyer half hour before the proceedings. .
At the hearing, the CSC never spoke to us at all. She confined all of her conversation with the DSS worker and her attorney. The only thing she asked us were our names. We listened to these people discussing our case like we weren't even there, and at the end, the CSC said 'Ok, I'm going to appoint so and so...' I jumped in there and asked her if WE had any voice in all of this, or if that was just it. The CSC wasn't thrilled with my question, that was very plain. A conversation ensued from there.
During that conversation, she asked who paid the bills. My son and I said we did, because both of us do and have for awhile now. My mom, when she was still very much coherent, but had lost the use of her right hand due to numbness and couldn't write anymore, asked me to start writing the checks and to sign her name...I had been after my mom to give one of us POA, which she refused to do. When I brought up the many valid reasons a POA was a smart move, she refused to listen, insisting that she would 'never' decline to the point where she couldn't make her own decisions, and that we wouldn't ever need one. I knew better, but what could I do? Getting guardianship at that point wasn't even an option because she was mentally sound at the time. My hands were tied. It was either write the damn checks for the bills, or sit here in the dark! I felt uneasy, like I was between a rock and a hard place, but paid the bills anyway. What else could I have done? When I expressed my unease at doing this, she asked who was going to report me? I wrote and signed the damn checks, not knowing what the hell else to do.
Fast forward. My mom declined to the point where getting a POA was impossible, even if she had been willing. I continued paying the bills, signing her name as I'd been doing for quite awhile. What was the alternative? I was paying HER bills and that's it!
When the CSC heard me admit I paid the bills, she considered that a 'red flag'. without even asking a single question about the circumstances as to WHY I had been paying the bills, she then appointed a third party interim guardian and froze my mothers account! My son, Sean, has been on her account jointly for about 7-8 years now. He is co owner of all her lands and property. The only thing we've used my mom's money for is to keep up HER properties and rentals, and to care for HER needs and buy food! I can provide cancelled checks from years back proving that with no problem. With the exception of fraud on my part, signing her name on her checks at HER request, with her full knowledge, neither my son nor I have ever taken advantage of my mother. In fact, I supported HER financially the first 5 years I was here! If it wasn't for me moving in here when she asked, she wouldn't have any freaking assets to worry about! She admitted to being almost broke and unable to pay her bills, which was news to me.. It was my understanding that she was financially well off! If I hadn't shoveled so much of my own damn money into her account all those years, she wouldn't have been able to hold onto any of her assets, nor stay in her home, which is what she wanted. .
I am so disgusted and frustrated by all of this! I am angry with my mother for being so blind about the POA, and putting me in such a position in the first place I'm angry at the court for looking at me like I've done something horribly wrong.
By freezing that account, it has put my family in dire straits. I can't pay the bills nor can we eat! Yeah, damn, sorry, we DID eat on my mom's money.
Is what this clerk did legal? Can she, without any proof of wrongdoing whatsoever, freeze my mom's account, even though my son is on it jointly? My son is trying to get guardianship, and I have two other people interested that I trust completely. Could this clerk legally give guardianship to one of her buddies in the court system instead of people we would prefer and trust, without proof of any wrongdoing whatsoever?
After all we've done for my mother, I feel like my family has been done one hell of a great wrong here and I don't like where this is going..