August 24, 2012
Elder lawyers in Sacramento work not just with our older clients, but also with their caregivers. In many cases, this means adult children who have or will be given power of attorney, not to mention those who just step up to help when something is needed. There are some legal issues that seem to arise caused by people who see the elderly as targets or victims, and often it is the caregiver who is left to pick up the pieces. A good Sacramento elder lawyer may be able to help you prepare for, and hopefully avoid these pitfalls.
Unfortunately, caregivers may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of confronting a sibling who is taking advantage of the elderly parent. It seems that the less responsible of a person’s children can sometimes find ways to “freeload” off of the parent, requesting money, gifts, and special favors that the parent cannot necessarily afford.
While it’s no fun, it may be necessary to step in and put a stop to this behavior. This is much easier if the caregiver has a financial power of attorney in place. Even then, it can be difficult to convince the parent that he or she needs to stop funding the sibling’s bad behavior.
Another concern in this area is that a sibling or siblings can also falsely accuse the caregiver of misconduct. It could be that the sibling simply doesn’t understand the day-to-day responsibilities of taking care of the parents, or they may be jealous of the caregiver’s relationship with the parent. Greed can also come into play, with the sibling wanting as much money as possible to be left in the parent’s estate for him or her to inherit.
While unscrupulous siblings are certainly disheartening, the prevalence of strangers willing to take advantage of elderly people is absolutely infuriating. From those who want to sell bogus or unnecessary insurance policies to those who will flat-out rob a person of their identity, caregivers need to be vigilant to keep their vulnerable loved ones protected. Your Sacramento elder lawyer can keep you apprised of common scams that are going around the area and will offer useful advice for how to keep these con artists out of your family’s accounts.
A different group of people that are willing to take advantage of elderly folks are those who will insinuate themselves into the parent’s life as a boyfriend or girlfriend. In some cases, these individuals may be considerably younger—what are commonly referred to as “gold diggers.” These people flatter the elderly person, providing him or her with attention and what appears to be love. Instead, the “lover” is really interested in bleeding the elderly person’s bank account. He or she may even be angling to be named in the will.
Working with a Sacramento elder lawyer may afford some options for protection against someone who is obviously using your parent for financial gain. To learn what documents need to be in place to ensure your loved one’s finances stay protected and managed by someone the senior trusts, simply give our office a call at (916) 241-9661 and ask to schedule a Peace of Mind Planning Session.