Monday, October 8, 2018
From AARP: What Happens When a Guardianship Gets Contentious
by Kenneth Miller:
Larry Davis tried his best to help his stepmother, but distance made it difficult. Davis lived with his wife in Sonoma County, Calif.; Kise (pronounced KEEˇ-say) Davis lived in Las Cruces, N.M., 1,200 miles away. She was struggling with dementia, and Larry, who held power of attorney over her affairs, spoke with her regularly, kept tabs on her via local contacts and visited as often as he could. He was working toward moving her to an assisted living facility near his home.
That began to seem more urgent in the fall of 2016, when Kise, then 85, began complaining that a longtime acquaintance, Larry Franco — a handyman who helped her with household tasks — was stealing from her. But Kise’s illness sometimes made her paranoid; she’d lodged such accusations against friends before. Larry, who was 74, planned to fly out and investigate after the holidays. Then, shortly before Christmas, he came home from a shopping trip to learn that Kise had gone missing.
“This is Kise’s neighbor Donnie,” said the voice on the answering machine. “I thought you should know that a van just came and took her to some kind of institution.”
Terrified that harm had come to Kise, Larry called Franco and demanded to know what was going on. “I got in over my head,” Franco told him. He explained that Kise had transferred her power of attorney (POA) to him, then turned suspicious and hostile. Franco’s lawyer had advised him that the best way to ensure Kise was properly cared for was to petition a judge to appoint a professional guardian, who would take over legal responsibility for her well-being.
Kise’s newly appointed guardian, a company called Advocate Services of Las Cruces, had placed her in a dementia-care facility by order of the court. It took Larry more than a week to reach her there. When they finally spoke, on Christmas Eve, she seemed to believe she’d booked herself a room, though now they wouldn’t let her go.
Larry was furious that no one had informed him before letting strangers lock her away, but he assumed he could quickly set things right.
He was wrong.
Full Article and Source:
What Happens When a Guardianship Gets Contentious
NASGA: Power of Attorney