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Thread: Contested guardianship

  1. #41
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    This is one of those "worst case scenario stories" that everyone is trying to avoid:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextave...h=17bc02277636

    I don't understand the judge's actions in this one but it's a good cautionary tale, I guess.
    Wow, the stuff of nightmares.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    The article's statement, "With mental illness, there may be nothing you can do to repair whatever their mind thinks you have done to them" struck a note with me.

  3. #43
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    This is one of those "worst case scenario stories" that everyone is trying to avoid:
    Ugh, I probably shouldn't have read that, since we are going to court tomorrow.

    Tybee, I'm so sorry there is dissension in your family.

    My mother cannot handle her own finances (no longer understands banking, can't follow a bank statement) , cannot manage appointments or contractors (doesn't know time any longer, can't remember names of oil company, phone company etc) , no longer drives (so can't shop) , can't write checks (too complicated) or use an ATM (never learned), can't cook and I think she has forgotten how to use the microwave but insists she is normal and wants to stay in her house until she dies. She is so far gone that she doesn't even realize she can't do the basics of living in a private home. She no longer cleans, but insists she does. Has to be prompted to change her clothes/shower. Only sporadically takes her medication. On top of all that, many evenings she calls my sister to complain on how lonely she is. Even my father had been looking for a place for her before his own cancer sapped his energy.

    My sister is doing the heavy lifting. I assist with practical things, but not the emotional ones. I remind Mom that how she's living is her choice, and if she is "so lonely" there are a number of options open to her. She hates that. My brothers are both basically absent. The local one cuts her grass (because she pays him $100 per time and it takes him 15 minutes to do the small lawn) and drops off a sandwich for dinner once in a while. The other one in Vermont is finally down to see her this weekend- first time since Dad died in Feb 2020 even though he was vaccinated a while back and restrictions in Vermont have been lifted and he's been traveling to other states for recreation. No one wants to take Mom on, so at least we are all in agreement that she needs to be in a facility for her own safety and mental health. She's always been a nasty, suspicious, angry woman and dementia has only emphasized those well worn deep grooves.

  4. #44
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    The moral of the story - get everything possible in writing according to the 'mistakes' made in the link earlier.

    The question now is - if you have a family, do you have everything in writing? A loan, rental agreement, use of car, etc. Start early and keep doing it so that it is established policy for the family and expected routinely by the family. If you cannot discuss this with the recipient of the benefit now, when?
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  5. #45
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    Good luck tomorrow, herbgeek. Our first hearing was on Zoom but next month's will be back to an actual courtroom.

    Our first hearing was quite stressful, but she was okay (on Zoom) and did not have a stroke which is what I feared. She actually went off and took a nap while it was happening.

  6. #46
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    Wow - definitely ranks up there as a worst case scenario!

    Good luck tomorrow, herbgeek.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  7. #47
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Wishing you well, Herbgeek.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  8. #48
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    The moral of the story - get everything possible in writing according to the 'mistakes' made in the link earlier.

    The question now is - if you have a family, do you have everything in writing? A loan, rental agreement, use of car, etc. Start early and keep doing it so that it is established policy for the family and expected routinely by the family. If you cannot discuss this with the recipient of the benefit now, when?
    well, you know…”in writing” is interesting. When does the “in writing” thing need to take place? Asking theoretically, no real answer expected.

    I really can’t be too specific about the family wrangling of DH, but I’ve told this elsewhere and I think it’s pretty interesting: my father-in-law gave—-stuff—-to his son (not DH) when he was in full possession of his facilities. I can’t see how anyone would have debated his mental health at that point. The Stuff was worth many thousands of dollars.

    Fast forward about five years. Father in law dies, leaves significant estate, everyone gets a nice slice of pie. But now one sibling is focused on what father-in-law gives to others. Takes the issue to court. Judge rules that Stuff needs to be considered as part of the estate. WTF is my reaction, but whatever. And it means more dinero for our household, so yay (?)

    I guess my question is at what point can I give my estate away that no one will come in and want to claw back that gift?

    But all of that said, back decades ago DH’s family loaned one another big chunks of money at a family friendly interest rate. And yes they always wrote it up as a promissory note.This Stuff was a GIFT.

  9. #49
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Il, that demonstrates that life gets complicated despite a parent's or the siblings best efforts.

    When my mother died 2 years after my dad, the real estate was split equitably between her kids, my siblings.

    The contents on the property were left to the one sister who needed the additional revenue with the full support of the other siblings

    But, Sis very erratically ended up donating most of it randomly in the community to the distress of the concerned neighbours who knew how much needed revenue an auction could have generated. I was asked about it and told everyone, what my mother did was not disputable. There was nothing that could be done. Sis felt the need to be a prolific donor, it seems, despite her limited personal resources. She was advised of the potential revenue but made a different choice. Who could imagine that happening? People often seem to do what makes little sense to others.

    I have found that I try to be totally transparent with my two kids and whatever one gets is matched by a similar contribution to the other. I am hoping this approach prevents any future friction.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I guess my question is at what point can I give my estate away that no one will come in and want to claw back that gift?
    I know you said no answer expected, but I think a gift is a gift. I'm wondering if it makes a different if something in writing is given along with the gift - meaning i.e. my mom "gifts" me her old wedding ring along with a card saying something to the effect "I'm giving you this ring as a gift because...". I would think having that in writing would help to ensure that the gifts would remain with those they were gifted to.

    The other part of this is having the living family members being made aware of what goes where and to who, and hopefully they respect YOU enough to respect your wishes. But, there may always be someone who just "wants".
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

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