Legal Question in Elder Law in Ohio


This is a complicated issue.

I feel very trapped because I have been caring for an Alzheimer's patient in my home for 7 1/2 years now, and her present Trust Attorney/Guardian is ignoring Her needs as well as mine. She moved with me and my Husband in 2005, to South Carolina, at the approval of Her (then) Attorney, as He was very happy with the care she was receiving and the fact that we made her a part of our Family. Previous to Her move to my home, She was in a nursing Home and was not getting on well there. I should mention that She is now 85. yrs. old, has never been married, has no children. She has only an 84 yr. old Sister living in Florida.

She is not related to me. I took her in in 2002 when I lived in Ohio, at the request of her Trust Attorney/guardian who was also a personel friend to her.

unfortunately, He passed away in 2007, and His Lawyer/Partner took over Her trust and Guardianship soon after her original Attorney passed away.

Her Attorney mailed a check to me once a month, (as agreed) to cover her board and care. He never missed a month.

The problem now is, (since December of 2008,) the Attorney that took over her trust & guardianship seemed to handle things well for a time, but then things changed. He has not been paying me on time and is usually as much as one and 1/2 months late mailing a check to me. He has mailed at least 4 insufficient fund checks to date which he eventually made good, and currently has not mailed out the sept. check yet and October was also due on the ist of this month. Also, he has failed to compensate me for the last 3 statements I mailed to him for out of pocket expenses. This goes back to june of 2009. I call his office 3 to 4 times a month to inquire as to what is going on, and he fails to answer or return my calls. When I did manage to talk with him last month, he told me that the reason He has not paid Her board on time is because things are slow due to the financial losses people have been experiencing, and that she now has to depend on an annuity check each month. I do not believe him. He tells me, The check is in the mail, or it will be in the mail, but it never is.

Back in In 2002, He told me She would never run out of funds. She is a retired RN, and has been very financially cautious. She saved and invested her savings all of her life for Her needs and for whatever her future would hold. I have great concern for Her best interest, and Her welfare, and I am affraid of what could happen to her if she has to leave my home. The problem is, I am 63 years of age, and I have not been feeling well for the past few months. I am nervous, under stress and cannot sleep wondering and worring about everything. I have made the decision that I need to give up caring for Her because I am so tired. Even though I have had a liftime of experience caring for the elderly in nursing homes, She is a very difficult person to care for, and has been from the beginning, and I am now feeling worn out due to the amount of attention and care she requires, and the fact that Her Attorney has been neglectful and is dodging His responsibilities.

In as much as I I am not feeling well enough to continue on with Her care or Her neglectful Attorney, I do not know exactly how to handle this situation or where to go from here and look out for Her best interests as well as my own. On top of all that, I need to be paid for my services. I have monthly expenses and responsibilities, and obviously her Attorney could care less about either of Us.

Since She lives in South carolina with Me, and Her Lawyer is in Ohio, how do I handle this and make it all legal. Can I force Him to find a nursing home in Ohio to place Her in? I have no way to place Her in SC because I have no access to Her funds and I am not Her legal Guardian. I do have legal papers from 2007 that state I am Her P.O.A. of health care. Can You please advise me? Thank You.

Sincerely, -Bonnie-

Asked on 10/14/09, 11:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Elizabeth Schmitz Elizabeth S. Schmitz Attorney at Law

Your situation is very complicated and I would advise you to talk to an elder law attorney in SC. There are too many issues to handle adequately in this type of forum.

You need to find out if someone has been appointed as her legal guardian. If that has not happened someone should be and that person can then take charge of her finances and make health care decisions for her including placing her in a nursing home. If the Ohio attorney is her legal guardian then you might have recourse with the probate court that appointed him.

You might try to talk to adult protective servcies in the county where you live in SC and see if they can give you some guidance.

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Answered on 10/15/09, 1:26 pm

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