IN RE THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORSHIP OF MARVIN D. WHETSTONE, Ward
LYNN BOESET, Appellee. JOHN KEVIN WORMLEY and JOAN REED, Appellants,
from the Iowa District Court for Adair County, Peter A.
attorneys-in-fact appeal from an adverse appointment of
guardian and conservator. AFFIRMED.
Charlotte Sucik and Benjamin J. Bragg of Abendroth &
Russell Law Firm, Urbandale, for appellants.
Sanders of Beving, Swanson & Forrest, P.C, Des Moines,
and Catherine M. Lucas and Brianna Vaughn of Bradshaw Fowler
Proctor & Fairgrave, P.C., Des Moines, for appellee.
Breanna Lea Young of Nelson Young & Braland, Earlham,
guardian ad litem for ward.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins JJ.
January 26, 2016, Meleah Whetstone filed a petition for
involuntary appointment of guardian and conservator, naming
her father, Marvin Whetstone, as the proposed ward. At that
time, Marvin's step-son, John Kevin Wormley, and
Marvin's sister, Joan Reed, were acting as his
attorneys-in-fact pursuant to a power of attorney Marvin had
previously executed. After a hearing on March 3, the court
issued orders naming Lynn Boeset, an unrelated party, as
Marvin's guardian and conservator. Wormley and Reed
Background Facts and Proceedings
is eighty-six years old. He has been diagnosed with anxiety
disorder, Parkinson's disease, dementia, Alzheimer's
disease, and type 2 diabetes. Marvin has lived in the Stuart
Community Care Center, a nursing home, since February 2011.
has three biological children: Meleah, Dan Whetstone, and
Bruce Whetstone. The three children do not have regular
contact with Marvin. Meleah lives in Arizona, Bruce lives in
California, and Dan lives in Toddville, Iowa.
the years, Marvin executed several documents relating to care
decisions. In 2003, he executed a durable power of attorney
for health care decisions, naming Vera Whetstone (his
then-wife) his agent, Meleah his contingent agent, and Bruce
his second contingent agent. In 2012, he executed a durable
power of attorney for health care decisions and a durable
general power of attorney, naming Wormley and Reed his
co-agents on both. In July 2015, he executed a durable power
of attorney for health care decisions naming Meleah his
agent, Reed his first contingent agent, and Wormley his
second contingent agent.
August 2015, Marvin's physician wrote a letter stating
Marvin was unable to drive, sign any legal documents, or make
major decisions. In November 2015, Wormley presented Marvin
with a document to revoke the July 2015 durable power of
attorney. At the time of trial, Meleah was under the
impression the July 2015 document had been revoked. The
nursing home also acted as though the 2012 document
social worker from the care center reported several
concerning incidents involving Wormley. When Marvin was
admitted to the care center, the family- Vera, Meleah, and
Wormley-got into an argument, and the center called the
police. Wormley once demanded entry into a board meeting for
the care center and was finally admitted only after
protesting repeatedly. Wormley denied that description of
events and stated he was allowed into the meeting with no
issue. At another time, Wormley reported to Marvin that
Wormley had lost a check, and Marvin became so agitated he
attempted to leave the facility on his own to help Wormley
search for the check. Wormley attempted to provide Marvin
with a motorized wheelchair, although Marvin was unable to
drive one, and the care center had to stop Wormley from doing
so to protect Marvin. Even after Marvin failed a test to
drive the wheelchair, Wormley attempted to have Marvin drive
it. The care center and Marvin's physician had also made
reports to the department of human services about suspicions
of elder abuse and ...