My 41 year old sister suffered a stroke five years ago. She is completely paralyzed and uses a dynovox to talk and write emails, (think Stephen Hawking) My sisters father takes care of most of her bills and keeps her family VERY comfortable. Her husband has cut most t=of the family out with the exception of her father because he pays the bills. They live VERY comfortably where most would have been financially wiped out. The husband drives a Porsche and vacations regularly. They have two kids 13 and 15 years old now. We have respected his wishes and have left them alone although my sister and i have been exchanging emails lately and repairing our relationship that the husband tore down. The husband believes he stands to inherit a lot of money even though we know her father ( she is a half sister) has set up trusts for her and her care and her children. This week most family members received a legal letter in which it states her husband is filing for full guardianship of my sister. We are all shocked, including her father who pays most of the bills. Why now and what can i do to stop it. My sister does now whats going on. How can i help my sister?
You need to actively participate in the guardianship court matter. This means hiring an attorney and getting guidance from the attorney about what your options are.
It appears as if you sister is competent. If this is the case, she can object and insist a guardianship is not needed.
You need to consult an Elder Law Attorney - NOW. The timetable is very short - one of the shortest allowed in the legal system. You can find one here on AVVO or by going to the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website www.vaela.org.
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Appointment of a guardian and conservator is only appropriate if your sister is not competent to make her own decisions. Physical disability is not a reason for the court to appoint a guardian and conservator.
You should consult with an attorney immediately regarding how to respond to the petition.
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I agree that you should consult an attorney right away and be sure and tell them when you received the paperwork from the court. There are very strict deadlines that must be followed. Even if you cannot speak with an attorney soon, you should file an objection to the appointment of guardian with the court. In Maryland, there must be a hearing before someone is appointed guardian -- I don't know what Virginia law requires. Prior to the hearing, though, there is a brief period of time to file an objection and that preserves the Interested Person's right to argue their case in court. If you do not object before the deadline, you can miss your opportunity to have an impact on the outcome of the proceedings.
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