In re Conservatorship/Guardianship of Lindhurst

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In re Conservatorship/Guardianship of Lindhurst

Case Number
A-16-0012
Call Date
October 12, 2016
Case Time
1:30 PM
Case Summary

A-16-0012, In re Guardianship and Conservatorship of Lindhurst

Lancaster County, County Judge Holly J. Parsley

Attorney for Appellant: Wayne E. Janssen

Attorney for Appellee: Joel G. Lonowski, Andrew K. Joyce (Morrow, Poppe, Watermeier & Lonowski, P.C.)

Probate Action: Guardianship and Conservatorship

Action Taken by Trial Court: The county court appointed one of Dolores Lindhurst's two daughters as her guardian and conservator.

Assignments of Error on Appeal: The daughter not chosen to serve as Lindhurst's guardian and conservator has appealed contending that the county court erred in (1) appointing her sister as Lindhurst's guardian and conservator; (2) not requiring her sister to pay a bond to serve as guardian and conservator for Lindhurst; and (3) failing to require her sister to reimburse certain amounts to Lindhurst; and failing to require both sisters to be present when Lindhurst' safe deposit box was first opened and inventoried as stipulated by the parties at the time of the trial.

Extended Case Summary (for Educational Purposes):
A-16-0012 In re Guardianship and Conservatorship of Dolores Lindhurst, an incapacitated and protected person. Janet K. Lindhurst (Appellant) v. Joyce Plachy.

Original trial court: Lancaster County Court, Judge Holly J. Parsley

Background: Janet K. Lindhurst and Joyce Plachy are the daughters of Dolores Lindhurst, who is over 90 years old. Both Janet and Joyce agree that their mother Dolores is in need of a guardian and conservator. A guardian is a person appointed to have the legal duty and authority to make decisions for the incapacitated person including making decisions regarding where the incapacitated person will live, arranging medical care, and entering into contracts on behalf of the incapacitated person. See Neb. Rev. Stat. ' 30-2620 (Cum. Supp. 2014). Thus, the appointed guardian would make decisions on Dolores' behalf regarding, among other things, where she would live and her medical care. A conservator is appointed to manage the estate of the protected person. Neb. Rev. Stat. ' 30-2209(6) (Cum. Supp. 2014). In this case, Dolores would be the protected person and her estate would include her property such as her home, her checking account, and cash. Although both Janet and Joyce agree that Dolores needs a guardian and conservator appointed for her, they each believe that they are best suited to serve as a guardian and conservator for their mother.

After a trial that lasted four days, the county court appointed Joyce as Dolores' permanent guardian and conservator. The county court did not require Joyce to post a bond when it appointed her as conservator. Although the Nebraska Probate Code generally requires a bond to be posted for a conservator appointed for estates with a net value of more than $10,000, the statute also says that 'for good cause shown, the court may eliminate the requirement of a bond or decrease or increase the required amount of any such bond previously furnished. ' Neb. Rev. Stat. ' 30-2640 (Supp. 2015). Although Joyce and Janet stipulated that they would both be present when Dolores' safe deposit box was first opened and inventoried, the county court did not include this stipulation in its order.

Janet, the sister who was not appointed as guardian and conservator, disagreed with the decision of the county court and has filed an appeal with this court. Janet has asked that this court review the county court's decision for these errors which she claims were made by the county court:

1. The county court erred in appointing Joyce as guardian and conservator for Dolores.

2. The county court erred in not appointing Janet as guardian and conservator for Dolores or, in the alterative, appointing Janet as guardian for Dolores and appointing a disinterested third person as conservator for Dolores.

3. The county court erred in failing to set an appropriate bond for Joyce as guardian and conservator for Dolores.

4. The county court erred in failing to require both Joyce and Janet to be present when Dolores' safe deposit box was first opened and inventoried.

5. The county court erred in failing to require Joyce to reimburse Dolores certain funds which Janet contends were paid to Joyce from Dolores' account.

Attorneys: Wayne E. Janssen (for Janet K. Lindhurst) ; Joel G. Lonowski and Andrew K. Joyce (Morrow, Poppe, Watermeier & Lonowski, P.C.) ( for Joyce Plachy)

Case Location
Doane University
Panel Text
Inbody, Riedmann, and Bishop, Judges