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  1. #1
    khcar1 Guest

    legal guardianship of disabled person

    What is the name of your state? Illinois...when someone is on total disability and is under a partial legal guardianship for medical and financial....what is the legal responsibility of the guardian and what happens when the guardian does not meet those responsibilities....like not keeping bills paid and using the funds for their own personal use....
  2. #2
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
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    1. How do you know that the guardian is not paying the ward's bills? (are these medical bills?)
    2. How do you know that the guardian is using the ward's funds for his/her own personal use?
    3. What is your relationship to the ward and to the guardian?
  3. #3
    khcar1 Guest

    legal guardianship of a disabled person

    the state is Illinois...I know for a fact that the guardian is not paying the clients bills such as utilities, medical and food....social security inusrance premiums.....he is using money for his own personal use when he sold the clients house and kept the money and invested it into a house he purchased and remodeled and the house is in the guardians name alone....he has moved one of his employees into it....the client does not have a home to go to...I am the clients mother and the legal guardians ex-wife....It is my understanding that SSA ask for an accounting every year on where all the money goes....I know that this has not been done, either....where is the accountability???????
  4. #4
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Contact SSA, disabled clients are afforded protection and the representitive payee must provide a yearly accounting, also depending on how much income there is, the client is allowed a certain ammount of P&I money per month.

    I take it there is a special needs trust, if there is, the specific wording of the trust may allow for certain things, again SSA can review for compliance.

    The client can ask to have their representitive payee changed and they are allowed access to information about their account and records. If they want to change their representitive payee, all they have to do is go in. It is best to make an appointment first and if both the client and the new representitive go in together, explain that the client wants to change the representitive payee, provide the information needed and sign the papers, it can be done without the client going in, in person but then it takes the time needed for mailing the papers back and forth for them to sign. This does not change the trustee on the special needs trust, that is a diferent matter for which an attorney will be needed if there is a problem with compliance.
  5. #5
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
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    khcar1,
    I fogot to ask where is the ward residing?

    Social Security insurance premiums (Medicare B) are automatically deducted from the beneficiary's monthly SS allocation. A guardian cannot sell a ward's assests without a court order to do so. The proceeds from any sale of a ward's property must be placed in restricted funds for the ward - also per court order. This information will be in the ward's file at the courthouse. A guardian is allowed to be paid, via a court order. Without evidence of these two allocations, you cannot determine whether or not any inappropriate transactions have occurred. You do not know for sure whether or not the guardian had used his/her own money to purchase a house for rental property.

    SSA requires a yearly accounting; however, I have found what SSA requires and what SSA asks a Personal Representative to produce are two different things. On the other hand, the court is very strict with the annual accounting reports that a guardian is required to submit for a ward.

    Since there is a guardianship for financial matters, I respectively disagree with rmet about the ward calling SSA to ask for another Personal Representative. It has been determined by a court that the ward is NOT competent to handle financial affairs; therefore, the ward is NOT competent to make that type of decision. Since you are the ward's mother, go to the courthouse and check the ward's file to determine whether or not there has been inappropriate transactions. A report to Adult Protective Services will result in a speedy investigation of whether or not the guardian is failing in his/her duties.
  6. #6
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlondiePB
    khcar1,
    I fogot to ask where is the ward residing?

    Social Security insurance premiums (Medicare B) are automatically deducted from the beneficiary's monthly SS allocation. A guardian cannot sell a ward's assests without a court order to do so. The proceeds from any sale of a ward's property must be placed in restricted funds for the ward - also per court order. This information will be in the ward's file at the courthouse. A guardian is allowed to be paid, via a court order. Without evidence of these two allocations, you cannot determine whether or not any inappropriate transactions have occurred. You do not know for sure whether or not the guardian had used his/her own money to purchase a house for rental property.

    SSA requires a yearly accounting; however, I have found what SSA requires and what SSA asks a Personal Representative to produce are two different things. On the other hand, the court is very strict with the annual accounting reports that a guardian is required to submit for a ward.

    Since there is a guardianship for financial matters, I respectively disagree with rmet about the ward calling SSA to ask for another Personal Representative. It has been determined by a court that the ward is NOT competent to handle financial affairs; therefore, the ward is NOT competent to make that type of decision. Since you are the ward's mother, go to the courthouse and check the ward's file to determine whether or not there has been inappropriate transactions. A report to Adult Protective Services will result in a speedy investigation of whether or not the guardian is failing in his/her duties.
    I answered some of the questions in general since we still don't have answers to the specific questions. In this case the "client" is OP's son and the "Guardian" is her ex/father. We don't have the details of the special needs trust, so it is difficult to address these issues, but the changes may be due to changes in the law in 1999.

    What you say about medicare is true, however, Mom may be calling it Medicare when in fact it is some other form of insurance. Depending on the situation the "client" may have medicaid and/or county/state insurance which may have premiums to pay or payment for HMO through work deduction or private pay and that may be what she is referring to, as laws for special needs trusts changed in 1999 which may eliminate SSI/medicaid for some "Clients" and the need to obtain other insurance. If they have medicare, the problem may be that the co pay is not being paid and that is what is being referred to. For these same reasons, it is important that mom go down to the courthouse, get copies and examine the various filings and orders, she should also contact the conservatorship/probate office.

    I just dealt with a similar problem yesterday with a DD adult client, and it turned out may assumptions about trustee and guardianship were misprepresented, that may be what is happening here as well and may explain why things don't jive. IN the case I was involved with, there actually was no guardianship, no trust and the mom who was the rep payee virtually made the DD adult a prisoner in his room without access to medical care or his P&I money etc. Upon acceptance to the Regional Center, mom became threatening, because this was something she didn't want and her son had applied for these services and had an advocate, me. A part of the plan was to change representitive payee to an unrelated adult friend of the family who is of good standing in the community. This process which had been planned, again made her angry, even so, the process goes on because the client has rights even if they have a guardian.

    As for Social Security, the information re representitive payee and changing it are accurate both from the 800 number and the actual office handling the account. People assume the "Client" has no rights to request a change in representitive payee, because of their competence, that is not true, but they have to go in with the new payee and explain and the Client has to sign, competent or not, to make the change. Socal Security makes the determination if the change is warrented. In this case if the mom goes in without without her son, She can make the request for change, she would cite the violations, such as failure to pay bills, with proof, failure to provide P&I money etc. It is better with the Client there and if the Client was not available it would be done by mail, if there was no response SSA may require the representive payee and the client to come into the office.

    In the case I was involved with, they will go to SSA with the letter of acceptance from the regional center, which includes intent for independent living and a need to change the rep payee, the mother and self proclaimed guardian will still have her input as a mother but her DD addult son will be able to exercise his rights for the first time in over 40 years. OP's case may or may not be similar we don't know the details of the "client's" living arrangements or the extent of disability or special needs.
  7. #7
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
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    rmet,
    There's way too much information omitted from the OP. I do understand who's who in this thread. Like with your recent case, the assumptions may be misrepresented. Until OP (mom) can determine whether or not there has been any "monkey business," calling authorities and SSA is not appropriate. I won't dispute that a ward has rights because I know that and the ward's rights all too well. The OP stated that this is a limited guardianship. Perhaps it is and perhaps it isn't. That is also a "key" bit of information which the OP can verify in the ward's file (plenary vs. limited). As you stated, we do not know if the guardian changed any supplemental health insurance to a plan that does or does not have a premium and whether discontinued policy sent an invoice prior to any change. The guardian did sell the ward's house; therefore, it is likely that the ward does not qualify for SSI and other state programs. We don't know whether or not OP knows if the ward's SS benefits are going to a restricted account. Should the SS benefits be going to the guardian's "operating account" to pay the ward's bills, changing this will leave the guardian short to take care of the ward's affairs as well as creating a financial nightmare. For certain, the guardian has to account to the court for every penny. The court accounting reports are much more detailed and scrutinized and have to balance. As you know, all is not what is rumored or appears to be true. IMO, there's more than meets the eye here. I think you know how I feel about misappropriation of funds.
    Last edited by BlondiePB; 10-09-2004 at 10:01 AM.
  8. #8
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Very true and things are not always what they at first seem. I susspect that OP is for some reason just learning about what is happening and doesn't have the full picture yet either, hopefully they will come back with more information.
  9. #9
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
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    OP will have to now wait until Monday to get to the courthouse. Too often people do jump to the wrong conclusion particularly when there is a guardianship/conservatorship. Other times, especially POA abuse, people are "right on" with their suspicions.
  10. #10
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Usually probate/ guardianship records are not on line, however, the recorder's office may have the information for the house online, which should show at least the current status of the trust, that is if their county recorder's office and/or assesors office is online. Here is a list of recorder's offices, however the specific county websites should have the actual search capibilities for several aspects, [url]http://www.zanatec.com/illinois.html[/url] That will at least show whether or not the house is still in the name of the disabled Client if and or when the changes occurred.

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