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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..

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{{laughing}} I'm with you, LadeeC. If any of my siblings pulled that POA over me, I would be ecstatic and rushing ASAP to pack up all my stuff before my sibling knows what hits them. By the time they figure it's not worth it, I will be long gone!

I just wanted to warn others here that Anything is possible if devious siblings want something. Be aware and watch your back.
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I find it hard to believe that you can't go into a court, present the original POA, the statement of incompetence and get the second, illegal, POA rescinded. Maybe I'm just naive. I didn't say someone might not try .. I'm saying it's not legal. In which case, there's legal recourse ....... assuming you want the battle. And, for what it's worth, if some sibling pulled that on me, my first step would be to show up at the sibling's door, mom in the wheelchair, bags packed, "Here .. apparently you wanted to care for her. Have at it." And walk away. The bickering is useless.
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Bookluvr it always amazes me that sometimes on here the main caregiver is not always the POA. This is bullshit we are the ones caring for thier mental health also managing thier finances my brother has made it quite clear that if im looking after her that I get POA along with another brother as we are the only 2 living here. If my sis wants POA then give up your job and get your ass over here and look after her 24/7. My sis thought she should be POA because shes organised (Bitch) she has really no idea what it entails so she wont be getting it living abroad. When we had a break in mum had no back door and we had to bolt it up my sis never offered to even buy a new door knowing that we were not safe here??
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Unfortunately, it can be changed. The other sibling borrows the parent, and changes it without alerting the officials that the parent was already diagnosed with dementia. I've read of it here several times when posters came on asking for help. It's a hard situation because they no longer have access to their parent due to the New POA sibling blocking them access to the parent and institutions must listen to the New POA. I'm just saying that when a sibling is determined to get that POA from you, they Can do it. As long as your parent is "competent" at the time of signing the new POA, then, it's a done deal. Remember - most doctors are fooled by a person with dementia. What more, if you go and do a new POA for a few minutes? Just never ever assume that because you have POA that it is a done deal. Devious siblings WILL find a way around it thru devious means. Not Legal but....
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Something to consider: the POA can NOT be changed once a diagnosis has been determined that the patient is no longer competent. As difficult as it is emotionally, to get that diagnosis, it can be pretty critical under these kinds of circumstances. It's as easy as having a doctor write a letter of legal incompetence (or whatever the actual terminology is).
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Jacky, since brother-in-law is a bad influence and you know he's going to be against you all the time, why must you continually update him. If he wants to know, he can always call his mom. I think it's best that you set boundaries with him. I'd get both the medical and the financial POA. Also remember that POA can be changed easily.
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Holy cow! You poor thing! Thank you so much for sharing this because I have been dragging my feet on doing POA for my mother in law who lives with me and my husband. She was just diagnosed with early dementia and we think it's alzhiemer's. I don't think she will resist as I have been in control of her finances for a few years now and she trusts me. My brother in law on the other hand thinks I'm a piece of shit even though I care for his Mom and let him live with us for free for six months and he has threatened to get me fired as her caregiver in the past, even though he hasn't even seen her in over a year! I tried to get him to call me the other day to let him know about Mom's diagnosis and instead of calling me, he called her and told her there was nothing wrong with her and I'm lying! For God's sake she pees herself day and night and can barely get around after hip surgery in April and sees people that aren't there! I know he will try and swoop in and take control if he sees an opportunity to get what little money she has, even though he has no home, job, or transportation and hasn't visited her since he left my home. I will be filing POA next week now! Thanks for sharing and I pray you get resolution soon. WE know you are a good daughter and deserve a lot of respect!
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SA .. so glad you reached your goal of getting your mom in the right place. Yay for that! I can only hope, with you, that the rest irons itself out ... VERY soon!!
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Kazzaa, be careful. It would have been best that sis not know about the POA until it's a done deal. I've read enough on here to know that the sibling with lots of money still wants more. Also remember, POAs are easily changed. So, just because mom gave it to you, sis can have mom change it to her without notifying you until it's a done deal. It just amazes me when I read here how siblings change when it comes to their parents' money. Amazing! What's worse, they don't view it as their parents' money to spend for their care but as their inheritance.

Hope your mom signs it. Remember to get both medical and financial. If financial, also see if you can get a little "salary" for caregiving her. It doesn't have to be a lot. And have it documented that you have at least 1 day off each week. Make it all legal while doing the POA.
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Saw mums doc today and he said im been very WISE re POA he will do tests and explain to her then i can start ball rolling??? NOW all i have to do is get mum into docs?
May sound awful but she wants to go to wool shop which is a few hours away from here and wants me with her Sooooooooooooooo yes blackmail! Go and see doc about POA then ill bring you anywhere. My mum is old generation and just dosnt want to pay although she understands how important it is god love her if i had the money id pay. My sister who has over 70000 in savings went quiet when i said its the money? my mum has been known to emotionally blackmail me all the time so now I will do same! watch this space. I wish i could walk out and say like SA suggested "no poa no care" but i live here so how would that work?
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Best advice on here . . . no POA, no play. Legal Aid may represent your mother, but don't be disappointed if they do not do anything for you. Speaking of representation for your mother, was an attorney present to represent her? If not, this is a big legal no-no. Most people, like us, have reached the end of our ropes numerous times. Lesson learned, "Never, ever say "I quit" to a medical professional, unless you mean it. Give yourself credit. It's OK to let this one go. If it helps, the court-appointed guardian will be left handling all of the mounds of paperwork that will be generated on your mother's behalf. Whatever you do, do NOT move out of your mother's house as your state may allow you to live there until you move or pass away because you have been your mother's caregiver and have lived in her house for a year or more. Finally, Google Medicaid in your state, then search for asset recovery or estate recovery. You'll see what your rights are in that state regarding your mother's house. Without the funds to hire an attorney, it's probably better to let this one fall where it may and go on about taking care transferring your funds to your own bank account. You can still be your mother's daughter and visit and love her, but without a POA or guardianship, it's time to let it go. You deserve better. Sending hugs and well-wishes. Thank you for sharing your story, which will help many others avoid the nightmare you are living.
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SA, glad that they found a place for your mom. So, now it's just down to you and what the court's or authorities going to do about you and fraud. Father also wanted me to sign his checks but I refused. I gave the excuse that our signatures of his name is very different. I'm glad that I never did it. However, my name was added to their bank account - which I unwillingly did not want to do. Glad he insisted in that he can no longer sign his name now. Won't do POA. And all that money would have been building up in his bank without my having access to it.

Will you update us on what the authorities will do with all that property/rentals, also? I mean, they will have to do something with it in order to pay for her new place. I'm just curious how they will do it since your son's name is also on it.
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SA hope today was a bit better and youre getting some good advice couldn't eat last night was so wound up with how you are being treated its hits a nerve with alot here. You may have seen my post my mum agreed to organise POA then she wants to buy a sofa that's all the money she has am at my wits end as to how to get her to sort this.
I think I should just make an apt with lawyer and bring her in. I don't feel shes doing it in malice shes just not thinking straight I don't like to push her its so tough apart from screaming your head off and saying your going to lose your mind so sign the damn papers ok? my family said they would call her and suggest she signs this? This is starting to become scary now as her house is her only asset to pay for her longterm health I want her in the best NH its her house and she deserves to be well cared for its not about money she hasn't got any just a pension.
Im lucky I have SWelfare BUT if she were to decline I would be in trouble paying bills etc..
Hope youre ok!
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StandAlone, I'm breathless after reading the madness you and your son are suffering under. You've every right to feel as you do, nothing about your situation rings fare at all. I had to fight like hell to get my parents to allow me on their checks for years and to get them to sign over POA was a nightmare. My father almost on a daily basis says he doesn't want me in his money or to know what he has. I don't touch their money! The accusations, the blaming the yelling and I find it has taken a toll on me, mentally and physically. Let one of those doctors live with what your living and not go nuts. I've been back in Texas starting the second week I'm still messed up from being here for a month, now dealing with issue in regards to anything with them is a hassle and is making me crazy. You've been through more than most and for longer God Bless you in your journey, could legal aid help unlock the accounts it's your disability check. So sorry this has happened, but it dose in some cases with some elders, my elders are so difficult to deal with. My father told me to come live with them I pray to God I don't have too, since I'm jobless. Found out the medicines I take for depression is 168.00 for 90 days off insurance and the hormone medicine for a 90 day supply is 474.00 which should be a crime it's estrogen for God's sake. Had know idea how expensive my life was going to get after losing my job. Your in my prayers so sorry for all your going through!!!!!!
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SA Thank goodness it is over. You did what you had to do. They could not possibly leave your Mom with a crazy like you!!!!! Now go and fry up some nice burdock roots and enjoy. The sun will rise again tomorrow.
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Captain you should write that book the wit alone will make you millions! you always make me laugh even though today was tough finally got mum diagnosed her doc said "vascular deterioration" they are being very coy about just saying dementia straight up WHY i really dont know? So drained now but have to get with it tomorrow and get mums POA sorted this story with SA is just so unfair im still in shock.
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Thanks for your comments, everyone, I appreciate it. I had to lol a couple times...

Long day. But, there is some very good news! They are looking at facilities now, and will place my mom soon. The DSS lady came by and talked about a couple of them, and we liked Highland House. I looked it up online, and if it's even half as nice as it looks on screen, it's very, very nice. They seem to have very high standards. I'm really hoping she'll be a lot happier, and get to be a lot more mobile. I feel a huge relief at this news.

I swear, I feel like I just went through hell and back trying to get my mom where I know she needed to be....a facility. I knew that getting her into a facility on my own was impossible without POA a year ago. As that year passed, I got more and more desperate...I needed out of the care giver role, my mom was just too much for me to handle anymore. I honestly had no idea what to do with her at home anymore. Nothing I tried, nothing I did, would keep her calm or distracted long...except food, and I couldn't feed her 24/7..

When my mom came out of respite this last time, I knew I was finished. I knew, that in order to get any kind of help at all and get out of this care giver role, I was going to have to go into operation 'premeditated craziness'....and I did. It's no wonder the docs, paramedics, nurses and cops thought I was a loon. It's sad as hell that I literally had to make myself out to be almost crazy, but what else? I talked all kinds of shit to convince them that they could NOT release my mom back to me that night. I had to make it very clear, I had to say it loudly so they'd GET it, that I was no longer willing or able to care for my mom.

Lord, almost a year of absolute desperation, realizing our hands were tied and we couldn't sell my mom's assets to put her anywhere. Every avenue we tried to get up the money to place her somewhere was nailed shut, every door we tried to open was slammed in our faces. I can't begin to describe that kind of frustration...that feeling of overwhelming horror that I was literally stuck, trapped, caged in a situation that had gotten really bad for my health, and that there literally was NO way out of the care giver role... that I'd have to deal with my mom until it killed me from sheer overload and exhaustion... I can't describe that feeling of utter helplessness and hopelessness. I knew in my gut I was at the end of the road in care giving, I had gone as far as I could go and I didn't have another step in me....but I couldn't get out of it...

So, I made myself look like a nut job in front of everybody and their brother. I yelled in their faces, I raised hell, I made threats, I did whatever the hell it took for them to get my mom out of the house and keep her out. I didn't feel malice towards my mom, I didn't do that out of spite, nor did I 'abandon' her.... I just couldn't DO it anymore, my hands were tied for money, and somebody was going to hear me..

It worked. Now, finally, my mom will be somewhere nice. But what a bitch to go through for me to make it happen... I had to convince half my town I was a loon, possibly dangerous even... Sheesh! It's ridiculous thinking about the damn lengths I had to go though to get my mom into a facility, where she needed to be a damn year ago! And now this huge guardianship fiasco on top of that... All this shit, for lack of a POA. My god.

Get your POA's people.
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Executors can be beneficiaries. My mother was sole heir and executrix of my father's will.
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The courts cannot appoint a guardian who holds a joint account because there is a conflict of interest. Guardians cannot co-mingle any funds with the person they are guarding. Executors cannot be beneficiaries of an estate. You didn't do anything wrong but now everything will be controlled by an impartial third party. People forget to keep the finances separated, your experience should be helpful to many.
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Maybe it's different in each country but I am my mum's POA in Canada and at the banks or on cheques I always sign my own name and then write POA underneath the signature.
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It could also have been made legal by adding your name to the bank account as an authorized signer. It is a horrendous thing you have gone through, and you did so much, but from the point of view of the court, because you did not get that little detail taken care of, it was all suspect. My hope will be that you can show them accounting of what her checks went for and it will be obvious you were not abusing her financially...listen, under these circumsntances, local foodbanks, churche, etc. would almost certinaly at least let you get some groceries on your table. So sorry you are going through all this...
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just get a damn atty, you cant manipulate the legal system, its too complicated. its really sad girl, there isnt a caregiver alive who couldnt be called a worthless parasite at first glance. ive lost a fortune in wages over 6 years cause i found myself more and more ducking out to work with the promise that id be back in about 4 - 5 hrs. " parasite " , thats f***ing rich. my life and health have improved by leaps since the caregiving ended. still miss mom tho. she was the only person in my small circle who was genuinely crazier than me. who wouldnt respect that?
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yep, a social worker told us 4 years ago that if we didnt get some poa going it would be near impossible when it became a necessity. she knew then what we didnt, that mom had dementia. my mother didnt trust any of us hooligans with poa and i dont blame her. i wouldnt want either of my sons having access to my nickel jar and used carbs. so mother got a springing poa. it was only in effect when she was physically unable to visit the bank. at this point your going to need a damn attorney, youre being effed over by the courts with their one size fits all mentality. im fortunate. my mother being nothing short of genius opened a joint account with her and myself when she finally grasped the concept that she wouldnt live long. my story gets even more intrigueing. upon moms death i learned that a felon cannot be a personal representative. i got busted with some of moms pills up north a couple years ago. mom and i shared drugs like they were candy. it all worked out ok. i was still beneficiary on all of the assets and the attorney respects and trusts me and permitted me to settle up with the hor sisters. i still provided the function of pr, but for the record the atty was default pr.
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HUGS to you SA. What a truly awful situation! Out of all of this one thing jumps out at me that could help you - please consider immediately going to whatever authority you need to to make sure your disability money comes to you and only you in an account that is only yours. I don't understand how it was even possible or legal for your mother to get them to send your disability checks to her in her name, but that situation must be stopped immediately. Then you will start getting new money even if you still can't access your money deposited to the frozen account. I feel so much for your situation because my mother as well is not "reasonable" about many things that are already making being a long-distance care for her so much harder than it needs to be. She did sign a DPOA (thank God) finally but it's only active in case of incapacity, and I can already see needing to take action on her behalf while she's still legally competent and being unable to. Your situation has made me resolve that if I need to get more involved I will insist she change the DPOA to be active immediately. I hope things can be resolved quickly in your favor soon.
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SA-- if your son is on the account jointly with your mum I don't understand why HE can't writes checks on that account? Isn't it considered his account too?
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SA - I am dumbfounded by what the courts have done to you. You MUST get your own legal counsel ASAP. Thank God you have tons of documentation to prove that everything you have done has been above board, and you can prove that the monies you earned went into her bank account. The signature thing without POA or even joint ownership of the checking account seems to be the sticking point and "legally" was wrong - but what choice did you have? NONE. So you went ahead and took care of your Mother on her terms, to your own eventual detriment -what a kick in the pants! Where is your Mother now?
Of course you immediately need to file for financial aid from Medicaid for living expenses/food/healthcare, etc. In the meantime, see if you can get the court-appointed financial guardian to fork over some of 'YOUR' money to at least put food in the house. Also immediately, look up the State or county social services division and find the Legal Aid division - ElderLaw Unit. In your current financial circumstances you most certainly should qualify for FREE legal aid.

You have all of us shaking right along with you. Don't think you have followed my recent posts, but my Uncle who gave me DPOA and MPOA just recently, now decided he is sorry he gave me DPOA because he no longer has all his cash in his wallet (I am keeping excess in the bank). I told him at 92 he doesn't need to carry more than about $100 per month and he is having a fit - he can't go anywhere without me anyway! So next week we go back to the lawyer for a consultation. Based on everything he has been putting me through, and seeing what your ungrateful Mother has done to you with her rotten manipulation (on top of which you treated her with more decency than she ever deserved), It has just further enhanced my resolve to let my Uncle become a ward of the state if he insists on restricting or taking away the powers he just granted me. It's at the point that I need to be mentally and emotionally tougher than I ever was in my life. I will not let him suck every drop of my life out of me. Your situation has shown how it all can go horribly wrong, and horribly unjustly. I will be praying for you every night!
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Not that it makes any difference but I don't think any of this is personal against you. It was just an arbitrary decision made by someone who doesn't care and has no personal interest in the situation. Not that it makes the accounts any less frozen.

I had POA over my dad and I signed stuff for him all the time, using HIS signature. When he was living out of town but coming back to town and I had to rent a house for us so I could care for him I signed his name to so much stuff (leases, etc) I probably could have gone to federal prison for 10 years. It was easier for me to sign his name than to try to explain to him what a fax was and where to find one. I think most of us have probably signed our loved one's names to one thing or another.
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mums birthday is coming at end of month? brother has now suggested family TALK so they are coming home.
am taking your advice and will get this damn thing sorted now this week and youre right no POA no care!
Im still shaking as to whats happened to you, if I believe in anything in my life is that "wrongs do become right".
Take care SA and keep talking here we wont see you crack we are all here for you!
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Kaz, thanks....and get that damn POA. Tell your mother that you will walk away if she doesn't give it to you, or some damn body. You NEED that, it's an absolute necessity. God knows what you could be facing down the line otherwise! Cover your asses, people, come hell or high water. I can't stress that enough. You don't want to be in my shoes, that's for damn sure.
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The lesson here? Get a POA as a CONDITION to being your parents care taker. No POA? They refuse to give it? No caretaker. PERIOD. Absolutely REFUSE your parent until they're willing to cover your ass legally. Any parent that isn't willing to do that for you, isn't WORTH the effort, because one, they don't give two shits about YOU, and two, the hassle and legal bullshit you could find yourself in otherwise, to your own detriment, is very, very real, and that's the sad truth.
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