There are always warning signs about BAD guardians.....we usually just don't see them until it's too late. Here are some red flag warning signs from NASGA members or victims of guardianship / conservatorship abuse:
1. When you ask the guardian questions, you receive dishonest answers, answers you know are false.
2. A distant relative is the first person to arrive in an emergency situation. This person is too willing, too eager and too happy to help.
3. Absolute arrogance in the guardian's voice making sure that you know he/she has taken over and is in charge - not you.
4. Your family member does not have access to their own telephone, or any outside communication.
5. When you try to visit the family member, you are not allowed to take them from the facility, not even for lunch, by order of the guardian.
6. You no longer have access to any financial information.
7. The guardian's background - a lawyer and/or a professional killer of wildlife, a fish & game commissioner. Disrespectful - above all.
8. An attorney recommends a guardian and gives you the name of a guardianship attorney or guardianship agency. "If an attorney (even one you trust) says anything about a guardian, conservator, mediator, trustee, or by any other name that indicates a stranger to the family who could "help the situation", DO NOT TRUST IT AND RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!!"
9. You are unable to view medical records, speak to doctors or inquire about medication being administered to your loved one.
10. If your loved one is in a nursing home, you are only allowed to visit in the dining room or recreation room, not allowed to be alone with your loved one.
11. The guardian/conservator treats you as an outsider and stranger instead of a relative, friend, or loved one.
12. Your loved one doesn't get his/her mail.
13. The staff at a nursing home or assisted living facility denies you any visitation, saying: you upset your family member.
14. When you try to contact the facility to speak with your family member, you are continually told that they are unavailable to come to the phone.
15. When you visit, the guardian hovers or even employs someone to hover so that you are not allowed private conversation with your loved one.
16. Your loved one appears to be more sluggish and withdrawn, perhaps even dazed.
17. Items are missing from your loved one's home.
18. The guardian/conservator refuses to take your call or answer your questions.
19. You start seeing questionable documents and realize that financial accounts are closed or beneficiaries have been changed. Financial statements have been diverted to the guardian/conservator.
20. There is no record of any emergency contact information or any record that you even exist.