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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111486
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I'm going to make this as brief as I can. I live in Virginia.

Customer Question

I'm going to make this as brief as I can. I live in Virginia. My mother has dementia. She began staying with me on weekends in Dec. 2014 and full time with me since Feb. 2015. I have lived in my dad's condo (now deceased and was willed to my mother) since he purchased it some 30 years ago. End of April, I had an emergency surgery, aortic aneurism and 6 days later was laid off from my job as bookkeeper for a Virginia Beach attorney. I have no reprimands or warnings of any kind in my file. I was a good and devoted employee. I have one living, retired, married brother who refuses to help me with any kind of relief with my mother. She is not allowed to spend the night at their house and he has not been accommodating with relieving me for an hour or two during any day. My mother has progressively gotten worse and cannot be left alone. I confronted my brother with my dilemma on June 25 which caused a horrible argument. 4 days later, he removed my mothers funds from her bank to a different one with a power of attorney he's had since 1992 (I also have one from 2004), is planning to have her ruled incompetent and he be awarded guardian to her estate. Supposedly I was informed that I could not be a guardian along with my brother because I filed bankruptcy in 2011. I have heard since that that is not necessarily true. We both met with a mediator that was recommended to try to agree on a contract which we did. I consulted an attorney to give me advice on how the agreement was written. He in turn never got back to me; as he responded to me as I left his office when I asked what I owed, he responded with "nothing, you don't have any money". One of my best friends since the 8th grade, also my brothers 2nd ex-wife could not help me out due to conflict of interest. I will be 63 years old in October. I must file for unemployment no later than Sept. 30. I have no access to paying someone to care for my mother with her own money and basically none of my own in order to be able to file for unemployment now nor go on interviews for the few jobs available. I also have big medical bills owed with no income coming in. I need to hire someone to care for my mother while I try to find a job. Can I hire someone and have it billed to my mother and sent to my brother so he has to pay it? He is not guardian yet but has control over her money. And if you can try to find me the best attorney that I need in Virginia Beach, I have another best friend since 1st grade that can help me with those funds if I know I have an attorney that will REALLY try and help me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am afraid that if you are not your mother's guardian or power of attorney, you cannot hire someone and have it billed to your brother, as you do not have that authority. You are going to need to challenge the guardianship denial based on your bankruptcy and prove that you can be a co-guardian without any risk to your mother's assets.
As far as hiring a local attorney, you need an elder law attorney to work with you and to find one of the best ones in your area in VA, you need to use the same site used by other attorneys, http://www.lexmundi.com
You need to also contact Social Services about getting someone for caring for your mother based on her needs and usually Adult Protection or Social Services will step in and assist with any programs they have to help your mother at low or no cost.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My brother does not have guardianship yet. So my mother basically makes her own decisions thus far. She can't hire a caregiver and be billed for it? My brother would have to pay for it out of her funds because he's the only one with access to her accounts now.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Your mother can hire a caregiver if she makes decisions, but he cannot be billed for it. She can tell him to pay her bill if he is paying the bills for her, so yes he would have to pay what she tells him to pay.