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Hello, a relative who lives out of state was recently appointed legal guardian of my elderly father, who was placed in a nursing home. I was appointed as the designated agent since I live in the same area as the facility he's living in. The guardian was given authority by the court to handle all financial, medical and real estate affairs. Since the guardian lives out of state and isn't available to monitor how our father is doing at the nursing home other than by phone/e-mail, she made comments to me that I'm expected to check on our father several times a week, ensure that his wound dressing is being changed daily by the nursing staff, that he's going to dialysis 3x/week, take him on outings when possible, and to provide comfort/emotional support to him as needed as he has major bouts of depression. As his guardian, the court will allow her to receive a percentage of compensation for her duties, such as paying bills, etc. When I asked if I would receive any compensation for assisting our father as his designated agent, I was told "NO", he's my father, and it's my duty as his daughter to provide support to him without expecting any compensation. Meanwhile, her contractor husband and his nephew are scheduled to travel here to make repairs on my father's home and hire local help to get the job done in order to sell it. He and his nephew would be compensated for their travel/meals/hotel/labor/materials, etc. as would be expected.


Was I wrong for asking to receive any compensation for providing support for my dad as his designated agent, or is that reserved only for the guardian, their lawyer, and her contractor husband and nephew? She wouldn't consider my being a co-guardian even though I live near my father and would be available to check on him regularly.

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Thanks to everyone for providing valuable input. I appreciate all of the comments. Me and my husband have been visiting my dad and will continue to do so. That's true that I should've spoken up during the court proceedings, but at the time I felt I didn't have the right since my sister was already POA and hired an attorney. I pretty much felt like her silent side-kick through the whole situation. Great idea about keeping a log of visits, etc. which I'll definitely do. If one day she accuses me of not doing anything for our dad, I'll have the proof.
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Lilly.

It rather sounds as though your father is having to lie on the bed he made. Sad, but hardly your fault.

As court-appointed guardian, your sister will have to comply with formal financial and welfare reporting processes. So although your father's care and the management of his assets may eat up terrifying amounts of money, your sister won't just be able to help herself to the entire estate.

If you incur expenses on your father's behalf you can legitimately claim these back - the cost of phone calls, fuel if you're running errands, the price of any items you might buy for him, like clothes or toiletries or what have you. But given the state of things between you and your sister it probably won't be worth the trouble and stress of doing so - easier to avoid laying out money that you're not happy to spend on him.

Do you want to visit your father? You must feel pretty sore about everything, I don't think you could be blamed if you didn't.

On the other hand... it's silly to say that money isn't important. Obviously it is. Obviously no one would be content to see a sibling walk off with all the cash, and why should you be? But, then again, it's a bit of a heart-sink when people are moved to action about a parent's estate when they haven't previously chosen to get involved in the care.

Look after yourself, hope things settle down for you.
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By the way - although this is a little "shutting the barn door after..."
It's wasn't up to your sister to "consider" - or not - your being a co-guardian. If you had made it known to the judge during the guardianship proceedings that you were also interested in being your fathers guardian- the decision would have been the judges to make.
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Draw up your own job description and responsibilities based on what you are willing and able to do at no cost. Then prepare a second itemized list of additional responsibilities and list a fee. Make a copy for yourself and send one to your sister. Then wait a few days for the chit to hit the fan.

Good luck and don't let her bully or guilt you.
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Hello everyone, I need to make a correction to my post. My father appointed my twin sister as an alternate medical POA in the event of his declining health, not guardian (she pursued guardianship later). He previously appointed a female friend (non-relative) because of his estrangement from his family. My twin sister stepped in and disputed it, and the primary POA later agreed to change it to my sister, as she didn't want the responsibility for making medical decisions for him when his health declined.
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Hello everyone and thank you again for offering additional input. I didn't sign the DA document; the attorney my sister hired prepared it, and no specific duties were specified. My sister mentioned them to me verbally.

The guardian is my twin sister. My father appointed her when preparing his will. All of us (3 sisters/1 brother) were estranged for most of our lives (long story). When we were children, my father favored my twin over the rest of us which impacted his decision in naming her as guardian later in life. Before someone posts a comment that I'm the jealous twin, that's not the case at all. I'm not more concerned about money or who's in charge, only that the guardianship is managed fairly to protect the estate from mishandling funds by my sister, her husband, and his nephew.
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Lily, WHOSE attorney prepared the Designated Agent document, and at whose request? Who created the list of responsibilities?

Rereading your post, I think that you're more concerned about not being paid than in helping your father; is this an accurate statement?

CWillie makes a good point - did you sign an agreement to be a Designated Agent, and if so, did it specify the duties?

Rereading your post, I see that you were "appointed" DA, and "expected" to perform these duties. I think more information on how this came about would help us craft answers to support you.

I like CM's idea of presenting a schedule of duties and compensation; let her know you won't be manipulated.

I'm beginning to have Cinderella and the Wicked Guardian images flashing through my mind.
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Lilly I agree with the consensus that you should laugh loudly - or at least have a modest chuckle to yourself - about this list of Duties Of The Designated Agent and say "I don't think so."

But I must admit to a little wriggle of irritation, here. You posted about 'a relative' and refer to 'the Guardian' and keep your comments all terribly formal and proper. This gives the vague impression that some random third cousin or something has been appointed over your head and we all duly get set to be outraged.

But it's not like that, is it? The Guardian is your sister, therefore also your father's own child, and it's your sister who took your father's affairs in hand and went to court to apply for guardianship. So one is bound to wonder: seeing you're on the spot, where were you when your father needed this (possibly unpopular) intervention?

I still sympathise, and I still concur with the opinion that if your sister thinks you're duty bound to be an unpaid servant she can have another think because you are no such thing. But I don't think it's fair to leave it to someone else to take control and then complain when she does.

You could try this. Draw up a table of the duties that are being done on your father's behalf, e.g.

bookkeeping and audit - Sister - $ per hour
house repairs - BIL - $ per hour
NH liaison - Lilly - $ per hour
etc.
etc.
etc.

and include absolutely everything you can think of. When Sister then attempts to rebuke you for your attitude or bully you into doing more than you are happy with, you can hand her a copy of your table and ask her what she thinks is reasonable about this.
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lillybloom25, unless you legally agreed in writing to these so called duties, the guardian has no authority to dictate your responsibilities to your father.
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Hm, I can go to a lawyer and get him to draw up a contract for almost anything, unless you also sign it with witnesses it doesn't make it legally enforceable. "I hereby appoint Lilly to unpaid servitude for as long as I need her". I don't think so.
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Thank you everyone for your input. It's greatly appreciated. To answer cwillie's question, the attorney prepared the Designation Agent document that my sister signed. I certainly agree with GardenArtist's and BarbBrooklyn's responses as well. Very well said.
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I'm curious about who appointed you "designated agent", if this is something included in the court documents or if this is merely a term being bandied around by the guardian to make you feel included - and obligated. She has the authority to hire anyone to perform tasks she can not undertake herself, such as hiring an accountant to do taxes, but she has no authority to compel you or anyone else to do her bidding just because she says so. Since in all likelihood your father's assets will ultimately be exhausted paying for his care (and perhaps feathering her nest) then I would suggest she hire someone like a geriatric care manager to ensure all these tasks are taken care of and that you do as BarbBrooklyn suggests and you limit your involvement to visiting your dad as his loving daughter.
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I think I would go back to court to get this rectified.

Visit your dad as you see fit (for friendly visits) and unless there is a court order telling you what you must report, I wouldn't give it any heed.
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I think hiring her family to do contractual work, presumably w/o getting comparable estimates (which any one with common sense would do) is self-dealing.

The tone of this person's actions bothers me. I think I would contact the court and raise the issue of the family doing the work, especially if she didn't get any estimates but awards them sole source contracts.

I can't speak to the rest of your question b/c I have no experience in the designated agent aspect of a guardianship. Perhaps you could raise that issue with the judge - by contacting his/her clerk in writing? I think it bears investigation.
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Given that she doesn't reside in the same state how did she come to be appointed his guardian instead of you, or did you chose not to apply?
While the court will have outlined how much compensation she can get for her duties the work provided by her son & husband would not be included in that. Logically she would have had to hire outsiders to do the work so she chose to keep the money in the family, but that contradicts her idea that your role is merely normal familial obligation. What will she do if you decline this level of involvement? It might be interesting to call her bluff and find out.
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