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The cost of guardianship of mentally ill son: My son who is 49 years old and seriously mentally ill, refuses medication. Would a guardianship help me put him in a hospital for treatment against his will?

Asked over 7 years ago in Guardianship

Derek’s answer: To the question of cost:

It is important to remember that at the core of a guardianship is the question of removing constitutionally protected rights. Therefore, the guardianship procedure is designed to safeguard the rights of the alleged incapacitated person. I know of guardianships that have been established for a few thousand dollars. On the other hand, if your son exercised his right to an attorney and his right to a trial by jury, the cost could climb into the 10's of thousands of dollars.

Ultimately the cost of the guardianship should be paid from your son's estate. If he is unable to afford it, the county may pay some or all of the costs.

Answered over 7 years ago.

My son has a serious mental illness. He is now 49 years old. what would it cost for a guardianship petition?: My son refuses to stay on his prescribed medication. He gets in trouble with the law. Nothing serious, trespassing and sometimes the use of illegal drugs. If I was to petition for a guardianship over him, what rights would I have in regard to his medical care?

Asked over 7 years ago in Guardianship

Derek’s answer: You could be granted guardianship over his person and be entitled to make medical on other decisions. In addition you could seek guardianship over his estate. The court will want to make the guardianship as limited as possible.

Answered over 7 years ago.

A trust fund was left for me by my grandparents. How can I access details about the account?: My uncle has insisted that it is only for college tuition and nothing more. Also, I asked how much the total amount in my trust is, he said he couldn't tell me. There are other rules he has brought up including the fund not being able to be used on a test fee needed to complete a course. I have a hard time believing any of this, especially since if the money isn't used by a certain age it all goes to my dad and uncles. How could I find any information proving this is true or false? Do I have a legal right to view these documents and how do I go about this?

Asked over 7 years ago in Trusts

Derek’s answer: Our state statutes concerning trusts and the duties of trustees are located in Title 11 of the Revised Code of Washington. These rules will provide specific requirements that your uncle is required to meet; however, most of these changed by the trust document. An attorney will help you create a strategy for obtaining the trust documents and ensuring that your uncle is meeting his duties.

One possible strategy would be to request a full accounting under RCW 11.106.020. If your uncle refuses because he believes the trust doesn't require it, then you can request a copy of the trust to confirm that indeed the state law requirement has been superseded. If he again refuses, you could start what is known as a TEDRA action to obtain discovery powers and compel him to comply.

As the trustee and a remainder beneficiary, your uncle has an inherent conflict of interest which may bring him under more scrutiny from the court than would a completely unrelated uninterested trustee.

Best wishes,

Derek W. Jensen, JD, LLM
Managing Attorney

Jensen Law Office, PLLC
Seattle, Washington
Tel: 206-547-1412

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Answered over 7 years ago.