How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26286
Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
11181181
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I live in Washington and am the guardian of my moms estate. I

Resolved Question:

I live in Washington and am the guardian of my moms estate.
I was given permission by my mom who has Alzheimer's to use her money help pay my mortgage. Now what penalties do I face from the court since I've done this?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

The problem that you face is that a guardian owes a "fiduciary duty" to the ward. That duty requires that the guardian place the ward's interests above their own.

Can you tell me what sort of court are we talking about? Is the state brining criminal charges? Or is the probate court calling you to account?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Probate calling for annual accounting due on Sept 27th
It will show that I used some of the estate for personal.
I am wondering what action the court will take against me.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.
Thank you

Can you tell me approximately how much money we are discussing?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Original 114,000 at start of accounting and I think approximately 20,000 used by myself to help pay my mortgage.
I didn't want to lose my home and have 4 kids so I used the estate money in an emergency effort to keep my home.
Now I have to answer for my decision.
The rest of the funds did go to her care and medical costs but now it's all gone so I am able to get her on Medicaid. She was on Medicaid but because she had an IRA the court ordered that we spend the money before she can requalify for medicaid
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.
Thank you Ma'am

One more question please. Can you tell me, are you still serving as the guardian? Or has the court removed you from this position?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am still the guardian the court is not aware of what I've done I am just trying to see if there's anything I can do to avoid jail time. I know I will be fined.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.
Thank you Ma'am

The problem you face is that the court may well refer this to the County Prosecutor. The County Attorney is the person who has discretion...they will make the determination on if you will be charged.

What you describe? I would say that jail is unlikely...I do not believe you would wind up with jail time (unless you have a criminal record). But I do believe a criminal conviction is possible, specifically I think you may well face a felony conviction. And that is significant.

I would urge you to seek local counsel from a criminal defense attorney in your County. You will be required to attend this hearing with the probate court. And I would expect that the probate court will relieve you of your duties as guardian and appoint a new guardian. But you will want to be very circumspect about what you tell the court. You certainly do not want to lie to the court. At the same time, going forward and "confessing" to the court may not be the best approach...that is because once you confess, you make the government case much easier to prove...and the easier the case the government has, the less inclined they may be to offer you a favorable plea agreement.

I urge you to work with a local attorney to determine exactly what you will say to the court at this hearing, to meet your requirement to show up to the hearing, but to limit your criminal liability.


Let me know if you have more questions...happy to help if I can
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26286
Experience: 12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
P. Simmons and 2 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
< Last | Next >
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
  • Thanks Adam!! - A very direct and understandable response - you have been a great help! Happy Customer Ellicott City, MD
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MC/mclemorelawyer/2011-9-21_193631_IMGP8718Version2.64x64.jpg Thomas McJD's Avatar

    Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3781
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2188
    13 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/rayanswers/2012-6-7_23346_Untitled1.64x64.jpg RayAnswers's Avatar

    RayAnswers

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1484
    Texas lawyer for 29 years in Estate law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1226
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    770
    12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    754
    Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.