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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Clarification of Duties for Guardianship of an Elderly Parent

    My question involves guardianship in the State of: Michigan

    My sister is the guardian and medical power of attorney of my mother who is 80 years old. One of my brothers is the financial power of attorney. My mother has alzheimer's/dementia. There are five of us siblings and it was recently decided to place my mother in a home for people with dementia. There has been disagreement between the five of us between two places in which to place my mother.

    My question is legally who is the one who can make the final decision, my sister who is guardian/medical poa or my brother who is financial poa?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Re: Clarification of Duties for Guardianship of an Elderly Parent

    You say she's the "guardian" - meaning a court appointed her as guardian? Did the court also appoint a conservator?

    A court appointment of a guardianship ends the legal significance of a medical power of attorney. The court appointment guardian will get to choose where the ward lives, with the ward contributing to the decision to the best of her ability. (Similarly, a financial power of attorney is terminated by a court's appointment of a conservator.)

    If there is no court-appointed guardian, the people holding power of attorney have whatever authority is granted to them by the power of attorney. A financial power of attorney does not ordinarily give any authority to make decisions pertaining to where somebody lives. A medical power of attorney may have such a provision, but you would have to read it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Clarification of Duties for Guardianship of an Elderly Parent

    The guardianship was not a court-appointed guardianship but is a document within a revocable living trust naming my sister guardian. It is signed by my mother, witnessed and notarized. My sister does not have a copy within her possession to read word for word. Does this mean since the guardianship was not court-appointed that it is not valid?

    The medical power of attorney document states that "my patient advocate shall have the authority to make all decisions and take all actions regarding my care, custody and medical treatment including but not limited to the following: 1) have access to, obtain copies of and authorize release of my medical and other personal information. Employ and discharge physicians, nurses, therapists and any other health care providers and arrange to pay them reasonable compensation. 2) Consent to, refuse or withdraw for me any medical care, diagnostic, surgical or theraputic procedure or other treatment of any type or nature including life sustaining treatments."

    My mother, by decision of the brother with the financial poa, is being placed somewhere that my sister, with the guardianship/medical poa, does not agree with. Does she have any legal right to intervene and refuse to allow my mother to be placed there? My mother is currently residing with her.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Re: Clarification of Duties for Guardianship of an Elderly Parent

    I cannot tell you the legal significance of documents I haven't read.

    Again, a financial power of attorney does not ordinarily grant any power in relation to medical care, or where a person resides.

    A medical power of attorney that grants the authority to determine where the person lives, allows the person holding power of attorney to make that determination.

    It sounds like your sister may wish to petition a probate court for guardianship, and may wish to consider also petitioning for conservatorship if she wishes to take over management of your mother's finances.

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