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Guardianship in Wa or Ca?how difficult? The likelihood of it happening?. Adult protective services are involved in both states

Moses Lake, WA |

My father is currently in a seattle wa veterans hosp that he voluntarily checked himself into. Now he is trying to leave AMA against medical advice. He is wheelchair bound addicted to narcotics(that are rx to him btw) and has no one to care for him in his state Ca. He has a drivers license(that is suspended due to dui) in Wa state, half of his mail comes to my address in Wa state but he owns a home in Ca. The social worker at the hospital told me it was detrimental to him to get a guardianship to make sure he is taken care of. I have a medical power of attorney my aunt has financial power of attorney. He cannot get his own food, drive, get to the bathroom ect...They are saying the only way to keep him in the hospital until guardianship is in place, is if he is suicidal,

what happens if guardianship is pursued and my father does not get to court, get an attorney or cooperate with anyone doing an investigation, he is in a state where he does not want anyone around in his business and has been known to not open his door, not show up to court proceedings or medical appointments. he believes if he avoids people at all costs no one can do anything. He is refusing any kinds of medical or mental care and has been deemed by his dr unable to make medical decisions, they have not been successful in testing for dementia however have used the word delusional in diagnosing him

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Under your facts a normal conservatorship in California is not the course. It sounds like a limited conservatorship in the mental health court but that can only be initiated by a psychiatrist on referral to the court. Unfortunately, the system still struggles with how to deal with mental illness. Im not sure how the court's in Washington would deal with this. Since he is voluntarily present in Washington, the court would probably take jurisdiction if the matter is brought before the court in the proper manner.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.


  2. I would recommend consulting with an elder law attorney in the Seattle area. There could be various options but they are highly fact sensitive.

    Lawrence Friedman, FriedmanLaw, Bridgewater, NJ, 908-704-1900. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.


  3. If your father tries to avoid the issue by refusing to cooperate of respond in court, it shouldn't matter. Once they have good service on him the guardianship/conservatorship proceeding will move forward. The complexities of your situation are such that you really do need to visit in private with an experienced elder law attorney in the Seattle area.

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