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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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My sister went to live with her son and his wife in florida,

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my sister went to live with her son and his wife in florida, she's from northern va. where all her sisters live, ok. ever since she's been in florida she's been in a nursing home. my sister and her daughter-in- law didn't get along. my sister told me many things that had happened between the two of them. her son has poa and now says she's getting help from hospice and planning her funeral and refuse to let any of her sisters know where she is and says they won't tell us and we can't see her. this has happened in the last week or so.i have nothing to go on but a phone number that came from Jonesboro Arkansas. do us sisters have any rights.the son called here sept, 1st and told me she hasn't talked since june and when she heard that it was me on the phone she said my name, told me home, thank you and I love you. please can you help me before it's too late.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: they are saying Georgia.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no, I feel like doing this but some of my sisters say it's her time to go. iam frightened for my sister whom I love very much.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: my sisters daughter-in-law said for whatever reason that my sister would never come back to her house and the medical bill of my sisters was 20,000.00 and my siser wasn't going anywhere until that money was paid.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 37 years’ extensive experience in family law, trials, appeals, contracts, landlord-tenant, and other types of law.

This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also, I’d like to review your question for a minute and type your answer. If I am not here for a few minutes, that means I am typing your answer. THIS IS NOT YOUR ANSWER YET so please allow me time to type it up for you. It may take a few minutes, so please understand that. Thanks!

If a request for a phone call comes in, it is from the site, not from me. I will be happy to have a phone call with you but only if you want it. If you would like to request a phone call, that’s fine too. There is no pressure and we can stay here if you’d like.

The son and wife live in Fla but you think that your sister may be in GA?

This is elder abuse, from what you're telling me. You will want to speak with an attorney in Fla because the son should not have the POA if he is abusing your sister. Elder abuse is unfortunately all too common, and very common in Fla. You would need to speak with an elder lawyer in Fla, and there are also some state offices which help elders. A lawyer can help you track down your sister and you may be able to file a petition to revoke the POA from the son and give the POA to you or guardianship to you. You may want to file a guardianship petition so that you can make crucial decisions for your sister. If she last lived in Fla, that would likely be her home state which means you'd have to sue there, but it's also the home state of the son, so Fla is likely the state which has jurisdiction of this case.

I don’t always say to get a lawyer, but in this instance I would. We aren't allowed to refer to any particular lawyer. However, what I do here, which helps my customers tremendously, is I give you a list of lawyers in your area and I'll show you how easy it is to pick one.

I have a short, easy to understand free guide and it will show you what to look for in an attorney. You can always run your picks by me and I can let you know if I think you're on the right track. I will also look for LegalAid and pro bono attorneys in your area if you tell me to do that. I just need to know where to look. The bigger the city the better. My customers tell me they have found great lawyers from my information. This part is free of charge -- I do this as a courtesy to my customers here. Just let me know if you want this information. You would need either an elder lawyer, which is preferable, or a family lawyer in Fla.

Does this answer your question or would you like more information?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
i'd like the free guide and I don't live in florida I live in va. beach va. the rest of the sisters live in northern va. and they wanted to visit her but was told no. is there anything we can do about that? also I do know the last nursing home she was in but they won't give us any info as to where she was moved. all I have is this phone # where they called my house for her 102 year old mother got to talk to her after I begged them because it sounded like my sister was going to die in a couple of days. they are planning funeral arrangements and the burial sight.what do I do?

Okay thank you. Yes, I know your location but you may have to bring this in Fla where your sister lived. That's why I am saying Fla. The court has to have jurisdiction over the person, and she last lived in Fla.

They can visit her if one of you get guardianship, but if you don't know where she is, that's the only way that's going to happen -- if the son has his POA removed and if one of you get guardianship.

You should contact a Fla attorney and move for emergency guardianship asap. The Fla attorney should be an elder lawyer, preferably, or a family lawyer who knows how to do guardianship proceedings.

The whole thing is awful, so I hope you can get an emergency order, even on a temporary basis, asap.

Was her last nursing home in GA or Fla? How long did she stay there?

I don't know how long she was there, but her residence was in Fla so the courts should have jurisdiction there, depending on how long she has been out of state.

I'd need to know where in Fla I should look -- private attorneys will be faster than pro bono or legal aid. Can you let me know where in Fla they live? Thank you.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you or if there is any more information that you need. Let me know if you need names of lawyers and I can help you if you let me know where you live.Thanks!


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
i'm back, sorry it took so long but I care for our 102 year old mother. her last nursing home was in florida and it was named river valley rehabilitation. ne crozier st. Blountstown flo.32424. since my sister was left in that rehab center for 9 months while her son and daughter-in-law moved to Alabama then back to Georgia, then had my sister moved to Georgia is that elder abuse? it's been so much going on with my sister being here and there, now they're saying they're not telling us where she is so we don't know if she's dead or alive. like I said before I live in va. beach, va and the other sisters live in northern va. where do I go from here?

Thanks for coming back.

Elder abuse can take many forms. It can be physical, psychological, stealing, emotional torture, etc. I don't know why your sister was left there, so I can't say whether that was elder abuse or not. Does she need a rehabilitation center? If not, then that is definitely elder abuse. If she was left without any communication, that could be elder abuse also.

You need to try to file for guardianship in Florida. That's where she last was, so that's where you would file. You file where she is, not where you are, generally. A guardian is a surrogate decision-maker appointed by the court to make either personal and/or financial decisions for a minor or for an adult with mental or physical disabilities. After adjudication, the subject of the guardianship is termed a "ward."

I would suggest that you contact a Florida family or elder lawyer to get the ball rolling as fast as possible. Please let me know if you would like me to find lawyers for you in Fla.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thank you for the said you have a free guide I can have I guess for picking a lawyer, can you send it via e-mail . I guess you answered my questions and thank you so much for the info.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
as of today none of us sisters will be told where she is, nothing at all if we wanted to see her.

You're most welcome. I'm glad to help. I'm sorry for the reason that you need me.

I'm so sorry this is happening. I'll check in Florida, near Blountstown. I don't know what county she lived in or where the son and his wife live, so if you have another town or city for me to check, please let me know.

I'll include the guide with this. If you go ahead with a guardianship proceeding, the son is going to have to answer the court as to where she is.

This is a really helpful site for elder law in Fla:

Blountstown is a very small town. It is also in Calhoun County and is also small, because they do not list any family lawyers or elder lawyers. Do the son and his wife live in another county?

Why not start out with the link I gave you above and start with the elder lawyers/family lawyers that are in that link. If you need additional resources, you can ask them, or you can come back and let me know where the son lives and I'll look in that county. Calhoun is a small county, not many lawyers.

Here is my free guide. This is meant to go hand in hand with avvo dot com, but you can use this as a general guideline as to what to look for in a lawyer.


Here's what to look for and what to avoid.

Avoid: Any red mark next to an attorney's name, such as misconduct. That usually means the lawyer was either disbarred, censured, cited for misconduct, or suspended from the practice of law.

Ignore: Ratings, such as 6.5 or 10, which is the highest. A 6.5 attorney may be even better than a 10. It's difficult to say. The site has its own formula for rating attorneys and many attorneys get a 10 because they belong to bar associations and sometimes give lectures. That does not necessarily mean they're the best when it comes to going to court.

Remember: People who charge the most aren’t necessarily the best! I know people who charged twice as much as I did and I have won cases against them easily in court. Don’t be fooled by price.

What to look for: See what the clients’ reviews state, especially in the field that you're interested in (i.e. family law, wills, custody, guardianship, etc.). That is probably going to be the most important thing. Many people have not been reviewed, but if there are a bunch of them who are, go with the ones who have multiple reviews and whose reviews are outstanding. You don't want someone who is a family lawyer but who has been rated as an excellent criminal lawyer. That won't help you. You want them rated as an excellent family lawyer if that's what you're looking for.

I would also suggest you find someone who has been practicing at least 10 years, the more the better(15-20 is even better). The site will tell you how long they're practicing law. You don't want someone just a few years out of law school to take on your tough case.

If there are hundreds of lawyers on the link I’m sending to you, you don’t have to review all of them. Just look at the first few “pages” and that will be enough. Don’t make yourself crazy looking at all of the lawyers there.

Extra suggestion:

I also suggest that you find someone who does primarily family law – if that’s what you’re looking for – or any other type of law you are looking for. For example, if you’re looking for a family lawyer (or any other type of lawyer), the site I am sending you to shows what percentage of the lawyer’s business is family law (or the other type of law you are looking for). If you want a family lawyer, you should find someone who does mostly family law cases – at least 50% -- or exclusively family law cases (100%). I am an appellate attorney who does family law cases, and I do appeals exclusively now. I list myself as doing appeals for 85% of my practice, and I show that the appeals are for family law, custody and child abuse. Someone looking for a family law appellate attorney would know that that’s what I do. So consider the percentage of work they do in the area of law that you want. If it’s 20% or something similar, and they do several types of law, you should find another lawyer. Find someone who spends most of his or her time doing the type of law you want to hire them for.

Take Action: Take a few names and make some phone calls. Ask for a free consultation -- see if you can get one. If you don't feel confident in the lawyer, find another one. That's why it's good to make a list of the ones you want, maybe 5-6 lawyers and you'll find one. It’s okay to walk out of a lawyer’s office and don’t sign anything if you’re not comfortable with the lawyer. You usually want an aggressive lawyer to help you and someone who will return phone calls.

If you can take someone with you to interview the lawyer, that would be a good idea. It’s always good to have another opinion.

You can always fire a lawyer if you're not happy but once the case is underway, you may need court permission to do so, so make sure you like the lawyer!

You can always run your picks by me and I can let you know if I think you’re on the right track.

Good luck to you! You can come back here free of charge after I'm rated for a follow-up question.

Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with. That includes looking for lawyers. I’m happy to do so! I’m here most of the time (usually at night!) so you can always come back and talk to me (no extra charge) after I’m rated. If I’m not here, I will get an email if you leave me a question.

Please accept my answer, and please rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars (5, 4 or 3 stars, 5 stars would be much appreciated as I ALWAYS strive to give you 5 star service!). This can be found AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you and with your question. I work hard to give you a thorough and honest answer. Please let me know if there is more that I can do to answer your question and if you need more information such as where to find lawyers. If not, I thank you for your rating. I can’t get credit for answering your question without your fair and honest rating. I have given you the benefit of my legal knowledge and 37 years of experience as well as my time. My statistics show that almost 100% of my customers here have been extremely satisfied with my answers as I am always truthful and thorough.

Feel free to come back here for a follow-up question based on this one.
You're welcome to ask follow-up questions at any time, any day after I'm rated, free of charge.

We are not employees of Just Answer but are independent contractors, so your rating is very important to us so that we can be reimbursed for our work. Thank you! I'd rather be given the chance to add more information than be rated negatively, so I thank you for that.

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Best of luck to you and thank you for letting me help you today! Thanks in advance for rating me!

I strive for 5 star service every time, so if there's anything else I can do to earn that, I'm happy to do so.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
she has alzheimers.

Yes, that is why she needs a guardian. I am so sorry she is going through this.

But I answered your question and I would appreciate a fair rating. In fact, I answered this thoroughly and answered all of your questions. Thank you in advance for your fair rating. I have almost 100% satisfaction here and my ratings show 99.9% customer satisfaction and 5-star ratings. I'd appreciate the same here.

Thank you for your fair rating. Be well!

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