A guardianship is definitely the answer. I normally do not recommend price shopping when it comes to attorneys but filing for a guardianship is just filing the right forms. It is not very difficult. Go with the attorney who offers the lowest fee. It is not a very difficult thing for a lawyer to do. I am sorry you have to deal with this difficult situation. Best wishes.
Lawrence J. Marraffino
This answer cannot be a substitute for legal advice which requires more information from the client than can be obtained in this forum. Therefore this answer CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS LEGAL ADVICE FROM THIS ATTORNEY.
It sounds like your mother is in need of a guardianship whereby you will be able to take over her personal and financial affairs. Please consult with a probate/elder care attorney to get the process started ASAP. Best wishes to you and your mother.
You should contact an attorney who specializes in elder law.
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Depending on how the fall occurred she could be suffering from a brain injury due to the fall. That could examine to the change in personality. You need a neuropsychologist to evaluate her if she hit her head in her fall and a weighted MRI. Just an idea of something to look for. Call me if I can help. Good luck.
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Your situation is a difficult one, but one that so many people are faced with as their parents get older. Guardianship, despite some assertions made to the contrary in the answers, is a very nuanced and complex area of law. You should only meet with an attorney experienced in dealing with these issues. Most guardianship attorneys refer to themselves as elder law practitioners.
A guardianship proceeding is commenced with a petition to determine incapacity and a petition to appoint a guardian. Once filed, the court will appoint an attorney to advocate on your mother's behalf. The proceedings are adversarial in nature, so you will have to prove that your mother is incapacitated and there is no alternative to guardianship.
Once you file the petitions, your mother will received notice and will know that you are taking this action against her. Unless it is completely clear that she is incapacitated based on the examining committee's findings, you are likely in for a fight. And until her right to make gifts and dispose of her property is taken away by a court, and even after in some cases, she is still able to alter her Will or Trust.
Guardianship is a painful process for any family and should be avoided at all cost, unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary. Please seek counsel and good luck to you.
I suggest that you pay for a consultation with an Elder care attorney in your area who can guide you on these many difficult issues. Steps may need to be taken to protect your mother's assets if and when the time comes that she needs to be placed into a nursing home. It may be necessary for you to seek involuntary guardianship over her if she is periodically irrational. Discuss all of these issues with the attorney.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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