liabilities of adult guardianship

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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liabilities of adult guardianship

I am a young adult seeking adult guardianship and conservatorship of my 64 year old mother who is mentally ill paranoid schizophrenia, OCD, clinical depression and bipolar disorder. She has been medically diagnosed on many occasions and has been in and out of treatment for over 30 years but refuses to take her medication once she is out of the hospital. Anyway, she is now at risk for homelessness because my grandmother is no longer able to take care of her and my grandmother’s house is being sold. I cannot take care of her because I just recently graduated college and do not make enough to support her. Other family friends do not want her living with them. I want to be able to get my mother on disability and Medicaid, which she has refused to sign for in the past. However, I am wondering what I will be liable and held responsible for with a guardianship and a conservatorship? I have no idea what is the right thing to do right now.

Asked on March 22, 2018 under Estate Planning, Georgia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation. This is such a tough place for you to be in and I have to say: it is commendable that you are trying to take care of this all.  First, take a deep breath.  "Liability" in what sense of the word? I am assuming financial for now.  If you agree to be financially liable then you will be held to that.  So signing documents to pay for her care is what you do NOT want to do.  You just need to make an application to be her guardian and conservator to allow you to make the decisions for her, like disability and medicaid.  It sounds like she will qualify without a problem.  I have often found that the best resource for getting services is the social worker in a hospital or facility that a person is presently in.  They can open doors and guide you through them.  If Mom is not presently in a hospital for treatment then that won't help you.  You do need a lawyer to help.  I would try Legal Aid first then call your local Bar Association and ask if they have a referral service. Even go just for a consultation on the process.  I am going to give you some links to guides here: one from the court, one from legal aid and one from the Department of Aging.  Look through them so you understand the mechanics of the process so when you speak with someone you can ask questions that are specific to your situation.  Don't get hung up on the legal stuff; it can make you crazy.  Just look at it as an overview.  Well informed is well armed as they say.  You could bring an emergency application in court to have her placed in a facility and medicated if things are really bad then go from there.  Good luck.

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