Debra Beatty_1Exploitation of the elderly is a growing problem. The nefarious prey on the unwary by using legal guardianship of an parent and/or elderly citizen as an opportunity to gain access and spend the parents and/or the elderly money as their own. The legal system is encountering issues when a parent has been married more than once and has had children with each marriage. This pitches offspring’s against each other.

When the elderly citizen does not make known their wishes for medical care in the event that they cannot speak for themselves due to advanced age, severity of medical illness, mental incompetent, and/or other illness may result in decisions not acceptable to the senior citizen..

Yesterday’s kids have to take steps to protect themselves and their assets: prevent problems from happening How do they do that? The senior needs to research and determine what is best for them. Let’s start by making sure that you know what each document means and does.

Durable Power of Attorney is an legal document that gives a person of your choice the legal power to make health care decisions for you in the event that you can not speak for yourself. It gives that person the legal right to withhold health care treatment for you. That legal power of Attorney remains in effect until you are capable of speaking for yourself. It is a written document and it must be signed, witnessed and dated.

You can revoke that legal power of Attorney at any time by putting the revocation in writing and giving a copy to your physician and/or medical facility.

A word of caution: when you decide to have a legal power of Attorney do give thought to your decision. Make sure the person you pick will follow your wishes. Make sure that the person you have given power over your life has your best interest at heart,. Your decision can mean life or death for you.

Next week we will discuss financial power of attorney.