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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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My elderly friend "Jenny" (78 years old) is a childless widow.

Resolved Question:

My elderly friend "Jenny" (78 years old) is a childless widow. Her estate is rather large. She has designated me as agent in her financial and medical POAs. "Jenny" is mentally and physically competent but she has begun to have "senior moments": forgetting where she laid her pocketbook down, repeating a story, etc.
We have just learned that her cousins (her nearest relatives) have witnessed this and are now going to petition the court for guardianship of Jenny. These relatives have not called, visited, or reached out to "Jenny" in some time. She truly believes (as do I) that their sole purpose in obtaining this guardianship is to obtain control over "Jenny's" estate.
She and I were talking of ways in which to prevent the guardianship from even being attempted. Our only solution sounds extreme but we feel her health and safety are in jeopardy. We want to make the guardianship as "unattractive" as possible; hence, she would gift ALL of her property to her "Sally," her best friend of 66 years ("Sally" has already been named sole beneficiary of "Jenny's estate in "Jenny's will).
I am 25 years younger than "Jenny" and "Sally" and financially able to provide for "Jenny" regardless of expense so this would not be an issue. I simply want to make sure that "Jenny's" wishes are carried out.
Would this be a legally viable solution? Are there alternative solutions? We will be meeting with "Jenny's" attorney next week but time is of the essence and I didn't know if we needed to continue to search for solutions.
If we chose, instead, to create a trust for her upkeep, would the guardianship allow access to that trust? Thank you and God Bless

Optional Information:
State/Country relating to question: Georgia
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  John Elder replied 2 years ago.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

I am away from my computer. Give me an hour and I will post am answer.
Expert:  John Elder replied 2 years ago.
Jenny giving all her assets away is a really bad idea. Furthermore, if Jenny is elderly and has some dementia, participating in this is possibly Elder Abuse and Exploitation under your state's statutes.

It may be possible to create a trust. However, any transfer, document or other maneuver that is done while she has dementia is highly subject to challenge and repeal based on her lack of capacity.

Given the fact that she already appointed you attorney in fact over her finances and health care under Powers of Attorney it is likely that the court refuses to appoint a guardian since she has already names someone to take care of her medical decisions and finances.

While I understand that this is all scary. It is much better that you meet with the attorney and discuss strategy to fight the guardianship rather than making quick moves to try and "hide" something. In fact, the more the court perceives her as trying to hide from the guardianship the more likely the court will be to appoint a guardians to sort things out.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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