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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Recovering Guardianship Legal Fees

    My question involves guardianship in the State of: Illinois
    I was awarded guardianship of my mother who has dementia, primarily to allow me to prevent her from having to go home with my mentally abusive father. She lives in a nursing home. I did not ask for financial guardianship on the advice of my attorney so that it would not look like I was simply trying to get control of their assets. A financial guardian has been appointed. My father fought the guardianship and lost. Now he continually files briefs against me asking the court to allow him to take my mother home for trivial reasons (she had a bruise on her arm, he suspected they were sedating her and putting her in a coma, etc.), trying to make me take my mother to the doctor for trivial reasons, etc., simply to harass me. The court has never sided with him on any of these issues. I have put out more than $10,000 in legal and court fees. My parents have little money, but they own their home outright. Is there a way for me to put a lien against my parents home so that when the house is eventually sold I can recover my legal fees? After all, I am paying legal fees on behalf of my mother, who is co-owner of their home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Recovering Guardianship Legal Fees

    Have you ever asked the court to award you legal fees? Have any fees been awarded? How is the financial guardian being paid?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Recovering Guardianship Legal Fees

    My father basically spent whatever money he had fighting me in court, on a relatively new used car he bought after my mother went to her first nursing home after breaking her hip (I’m guessing $10,000), and who knows what on the girlfriend (who sits with him in court!). Included in the money spent on these things was the money he got from cashing in my mother's small life insurance policy that was meant for her burial. He cashed this in about 6 months before this all come up. So there is no "cash" or other liquid assets sitting there for him to pay me with even if the court awarded it to me. His only income is a small pension and my mother's even smaller pension. I'm not sure who is paying for the financial guardian, but the guardian told me that he has no funds to pay even small costs such as an outstanding $100 medical bill. (My mother is Medicaid pending.) My thinking is that the only way I'm going to get a cent is if it comes either from selling their home out from under him (which the financial guardian is supposedly looking into since my father has been primarily living with his girlfriend and not in my parents’ home, but it's hard to prove), or, barring that, getting a lien on their home so that when my father eventually sells the home, or when it is sold after he dies or is himself institutionalized, I can get my money back. My lawyer, who specializes in senior and estate issues, says he has never heard of anyone doing that. So is this judge going to want to be "the first one" to do this, even if, in principle, it is perfectly legal?

    One thing I wonder is to what extent the judge is obliged to see to it that I get my fees reimbursed, or can he just think, "The barometric pressure is too high today and so I'm not going to give it to him"? In other words, if I can find any legal way for me to get my money back, does the judge HAVE to approve it? Also, would I be better off trying to get my money now, when there is CERTAIN to be more court action, or to wait until it’s all over or until he dies or has to sell the home for some reason? In her will my father is her primary heir, with myself and my siblings named if he is dead. So if my mother dies first (I know he has stricken me and two of my three siblings from his will), does it end my chances of getting my money, or could a judge give me my money, will be damned?

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