I am an Apotropos. This is a Greek word of German usage that is legally used in Israel to denote guardianship, particularly of an older mentally or physically handicapped person (it is different from “power-of-attorney” because that is granted by someone who is compus mentis, while the Apotropus is granted by the court for someone who is not compus mentis). I am the Apotropos for my wife who has Alzheimer’s Disease and for my mother-in-law who is 100 years old and is senile. In order to become their Apotropos I had to apply to a special family court. There are two kinds of Apotropos, one that is for the medical/health of the individual and one that is for their finances. This means that one can make all decisions regarding the medical treatment and/or the financial transactions of the individual. I have both kinds of responsibility.
Every year or two the Department of the Justice Ministry that deals with Aprotropi requires one who is in charge of the finances of someone else to submit a report on their financial dealings. This is to ensure that the person who is unable to deal with their finances themselves is not being taken advantage of by the person appointed as their Apotropus. A very reasonable requirement, since there are undoubtedly people out there who are itching to get their hands on the old witch’s money. So it was not surprising that I received in the mail a package (in Hebrew of course) requiring me to make such a financial disclosure for 2013 and 2014. But, what was unusual in this case was that the package included a list of approved accountants and the requirement that I pay a standard fee and take my financial records (including bank records) to an accountant from the list. Since there were no accountants on the list from Netanya I chose one from the nearest town Hadera (rather than go to Tel Aviv).
I called the number given and spoke to a nice young man, who when he heard my story suggested that he shouldn’t need to prepare a report and said he would call the Department and ask them. Then he called me back and said, no, they insist that he prepare the report, and I need to give him all the information from the bank about my and my wife’s accounts as well as all my receipts for utilities, credit cards, etc. for 2013 and 2014. I ordered the information from the bank, and I started gathering together all the bills/receipts for services etc. This required a lot of work, since it included electricity, gas, water and telephone bills, as well as municipal rates (arnona) and such things as insurance payments, and credit card bills. For those utilities that I did not have the bills for that period I had to call and ask for them (my daughter helped me with this, since her Hebrew is much better than mine).
Finally after a week, I had all the papers and was ready to go and meet the accountant. He gave me the name of his street in English (HaHoman St.) and told me that their building was no. 17, the last at the end of the road. Well on the morning I tried to put this information into Google maps for the GPS and it did not find a HaHoman St. in Hadera. So then I tried Waze, and this worked, even when I put the name in English, it found it in Hebrew (very clever). And then with some help I got the spoken directions in English, even though the map was in Hebrew. It was raining heavily, but with Waze I found my way to the right place. But, then I discovered that in English the street is spelt HaUman Street, and the last building was very new and had no number on it, but at least I knew it was the last building on the street.
The accountant was very pleasant, he examined my papers and quickly concluded that since I pay all the utilities from my account and none from my wife’s, he did not in fact need my account nor any of the utility and other bills I had so painstakingly collected. He only needed my wife’s account that showed that I intermittently transferred funds from it to my account to help pay the bills (strictly it should be half each) and also the payments for the carer (metapelet) who looks after her. So that was easy, and I left him to make the report. He advised me that my case was simple, there should be no problems and I should write a letter to the Department and suggest that in future I do not need to have an accountant prepare my reports.