What are the elder care laws in Virginia? My mother is disabled from a stroke. She lives alone with care givers five days a week 3-5 hours per day. There are 3 of us and my brother has power of attorney. Long story short, we are trying to let my mother stay in her home as long as possible however she is having periods of confusion where she accuses people of things such as a neighbor taking her money and lawmower which also is her neice. I know that my mother gave the lawn mower to my brother and I saw my cousing hand my brother the money in question along with some pictures and papers. Where is the line drawn that she is no longer able to stay by herself legally? What are the responsibility legally of me my brother and sister? i just do not know where to go from here?
State (if USA): Virginia
Hello and thank you for choosing JustAnswer. I'm sorry you are going through this difficult time but I will do my best to assist you.If you, and your mother's doctor, believe that she cannot make good decisions on her own behalf and is a risk to herself if she is living on her own then you can petition the local court to be appointed your mother's guardian.Guardianship is a legal mechanism, usually done through Probate Court, which appoints a person, persons or public entity, to make decisions on behalf of another person. The Appointee must demonstrate that the Ward is unable to make decisions responsibly or independently. A Guardian has the power to make decisions for the Ward, even if they are decisions the Ward does not like. Control over where a person lives, how money is spent, what medical care is received, etc., are the responsibility of the Guardian. There are several different versions of Guardianship, including full Guardianship, which is the most restrictive, and limited Guardianship, which spells out specific areas that a Guardian will control.Generally speaking, you will need to get a letter from your mother's doctor supporting the decision to appoint you (or someone else) as her guardian. It will be easier to become her guardian if your mother will agree and file the petition with you jointly.Since your brother has already been designated with your mother's Power of Attorney then this may be sufficient to make decisions on her behalf (if it covers both financial and medical decisions). Your mother could also choose to establish what is called a living trust, which legally assigns ownership of his assets to you, as the trustee.For an adequate summary of Guardianship in Virginia please review the following link (it also covers power of attorney):http://www.vda.virginia.gov/pdfdocs/Guardbook.pdfYou may find the information regarding caring and relating with elderly persons contained within the following link useful:http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c23141.htmI hope this has helped your understanding of the situation. Please let me know if you need me to further clarify my answer and I will do my best to so clarify.Thank you,Robert
I am a licensed Attorney.
What about if she would need to be placed in a long term care facility would i be responsible for her bills if she is unable to pay them in the LTC? Would my siblings be equally responsible. Thank you for your help!
Thank you for your follow-up.Pursuant to the Virginia Filial Responsibility statute, you and your siblings, assuming all above the age 18, would be jointly/equally liable for the care of your mother in the LTC once her assets are liquidated (unless they are in a trust). You should also consider the fact that government assistance can be predicated on the liquidation of your mother's assets unless they are already in a trust. Because of the potential for you to benefit from a trust I suggest you speak with a trust attorney to discuss how a trust may benefit you. If you choose to do this then you may be interested int he following link which will allow you to select the relevant area in Virginia and the first website will provide you with a list of trust attorneys and the second a list of elder law attorneys:http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Trusts/Virginiahttp://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Elder-Law/VirginiaI hope this has helped. Please let me know if you need me to further clarify and I will do my best to so clarify. I am glad to help!Thank you,Robert
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