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Thread: Contested guardianship

  1. #1
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    Contested guardianship

    Does anyone have any experiences to share around contested guardianships of an elder with dementia? We went to court last week and boy, that was something I don't want to do again. Elder contests the guardianship; family has a good plan for elder, anyone know anything about the standard of proof with incapacity (they don't call it incompetent anymore, it's incapacitated, which is actually a lot better and more descriptive.)

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    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    I don't. Does either party have an attorney? If you don't have one are you willing to lawyer up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I don't. Does either party have an attorney? If you don't have one are you willing to lawyer up?
    Yes, both sides have attorneys, and that is not the issue. It's more about the proof of incapacity.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Doesn't it involve certification by a physician? There's probably some subjectivity there.. I don't know if there are standards.

    I'm sure you've already researched, but here's one site with some information: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/w...ile-441176.htm

    If you're looking for personal experience, when my mother had her aneurysm/stroke, she went from being a fully functional 50 year old to not knowing what planet she was on. It was heartbreaking, but she wound up in a nursing home. When I asked her doctor about her prognosis, her curt reply was "they usually stay that way." So there she was, missing out on enjoying her first grandson who had been born just two weeks after her event.

    God sent an angel in the form of a friend of hers who would take her out to lunch once a week--despite my mother's confusion and disorientation. She noticed that some days she was perfectly lucid, and other days she would spoon her ice cream into her tea and talk about General Patton walking the halls. So she told me that she thought my mother should get re-evaluated.

    So my mother's other best friend and I took her to Gaylord in New Haven, and she underwent a batter of tests there, and based on that, the doctor told the nursing home to stop giving her any medication.

    Within a week my mother "woke up"--it was literally like the movie Awakenings. After 18 months lying in a nursing home bed, she became herself exactly as if she came out of a coma. She asked me what happened to this? How is so-and-so?

    Not sure how this relates to your specific situation, Tybee, but I guess I would say that getting your mother evaluated by the most credible institution you can find would give you some confidence in their ability to certify your mother's capacities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Doesn't it involve certification by a physician? There's probably some subjectivity there.. I don't know if there are standards.

    I'm sure you've already researched, but here's one site with some information: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/w...ile-441176.htm

    If you're looking for personal experience, when my mother had her aneurysm/stroke, she went from being a fully functional 50 year old to not knowing what planet she was on. It was heartbreaking, but she wound up in a nursing home. When I asked her doctor about her prognosis, her curt reply was "they usually stay that way." So there she was, missing out on enjoying her first grandson who had been born just two weeks after her event.

    God sent an angel in the form of a friend of hers who would take her out to lunch once a week--despite my mother's confusion and disorientation. She noticed that some days she was perfectly lucid, and other days she would spoon her ice cream into her tea and talk about General Patton walking the halls. So she told me that she thought my mother should get re-evaluated.

    So my mother's other best friend and I took her to Gaylord in New Haven, and she underwent a batter of tests there, and based on that, the doctor told the nursing home to stop giving her any medication.

    Within a week my mother "woke up"--it was literally like the movie Awakenings. After 18 months lying in a nursing home bed, she became herself exactly as if she came out of a coma. She asked me what happened to this? How is so-and-so?

    Not sure how this relates to your specific situation, Tybee, but I guess I would say that getting your mother evaluated by the most credible institution you can find would give you some confidence in their ability to certify your mother's capacities.
    Wow, what an amazing story. Yes, we need to have her really evaluated by someone who knows what they are doing. My brothers and their lawyers have not done this, unfortunately. they are controlling what is happening, unfortunately.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    What a difficult situation!

    You may already have done this. Make a written record of your observations from the time of your move to Maine. Don't underestimate how important your view is, including the filthy clothes, poor diet and hygiene etc. Those who see someone often don't see the changes as clearly as someone with less frequent contact due to distance can.

    Does your state have a capacity panel requirement to determine incapacity?

    So sorry this is happening.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I will be doing this next Monday. We have a court date to get a conservatorship. We brought mom to the neurologist who first diagnosed the dementia and she helped us fill out the paperwork. Mom insists she is normal, but doesn't know year or month or even how many grandchildren she has. It was painful to witness how few questions she can answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    What a difficult situation!

    You may already have done this. Make a written record of your observations from the time of your move to Maine. Don't underestimate how important your view is, including the filthy clothes, poor diet and hygiene etc. Those who see someone often don't see the changes as clearly as someone with less frequent contact due to distance can.

    Does your state have a capacity panel requirement to determine incapacity?

    So sorry this is happening.
    No panel, it is up to the judge to make the ruling. He did not make it last week which meant she had not proved her case to his satisfaction. Just sent everyone involved a suggestion about doing what Catherine did(thanks Catherine,you helped me figure out what to suggest) and already got a letter back from the guardian not to butt in.

    Razz, I already did the things you suggest in oral form. Was thinking of an affadavit, too. But am being shut down by these people, again and again. I am done; I want out of here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    I will be doing this next Monday. We have a court date to get a conservatorship. We brought mom to the neurologist who first diagnosed the dementia and she helped us fill out the paperwork. Mom insists she is normal, but doesn't know year or month or even how many grandchildren she has. It was painful to witness how few questions she can answer.
    Good for you for going right to the neurologist. Have no idea why this lawyer did not do that, except they are cheaping out. I am so, so sorry to hear you are going through this--it is so painful, it is indescribable.

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    Razz, I meant I already told the judge some of the things directly. Like things no one could doubt dementia. I think he believes it.
    I am so frustrated by this situation. I wish it were over.

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