Legal Question in Elder Law in California

My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s/dementia. She is very aggressive towards me and my sister. There have been accusations of us stealing money from her which is not true. I haven’t spoken to our mother in over a year. My sister speaks to her on telephone occasionally. My mother lives in a mobile home that I purchased for her 12 years ago. Our mother has a neighbor who has been added as POA on her bank account. That is not so worrisome as our mother lives on SS and has no savings. I am wondering if I should/could apply through court for guardianship over her? I know that she would not agree to this. I am the oldest of her 3 daughters. I was her caregiver up until her dementia took over and she became aggressive. 3 weeks ago she had thoughts of suicide and her neighbor took her to a psych hospital where she remained for 6 days and was released with medication. Sorry this is do long but I am at a loss on what to do and don’t know how or if I should apply for guardianship. Thanks in advance.

Asked on 6/21/19, 9:42 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Aaron Feldman Feldman Law Group

In California for an adult the term is Conservatorship and it can be over the person (to determine where they live, medical decisions, etc...) or Estate (financial) or both.

If you apply to become Conservator the process will include having an attorney assigned by the Court to represent your mother. You will also need a Capacity Declaration from her Dr. saying what her limitations are (i.e., can she care for herself). If you want to obtain what are called dementia powers, including the power to place your mother in a locked facility, the bar is pretty high. It is not a simple process and can be expensive even if uncontested. Without a Health Care Directive in place, I would think a Conservatorship of the Person makes sense.

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Answered on 6/21/19, 10:02 am

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