Medical emergencies, especially among aging individuals, can result in long-term rehabilitation and financial distress. Planning ahead for these emergencies is crucial, not only to preserve your assets and your independence but also to protect yourself from unscrupulous practices.
According to a recent article, a woman has filed a lawsuit alleging extensive financial fraud and abuse against a long-term elder care and rehabilitation facility. The woman, who lived alone and independently, entered the facility to recover from numerous medical issues after hospitalization. She alleges employees of the care facility repeatedly suggested that she get rid of her assets and live the remainder of her days in the nursing home facility, which she declined and insisted she did not wish to do.
After this refusal, she was placed on a cocktail of medications that put her under a fog, leading to hallucinations and confusion. It was then that she was coerced into signing a durable power of attorney agreement handing over control of all of her financial decisions to an officer of the care facility, whom the woman had never actually met. This officer kept her from seeing her family and eventually sold all of her assets, including her car, and listed her home on the market.
When the woman returned to her home after her extended stay, she discovered that her home and bank accounts were both empty and her house was put up for sale. She has since been able to take her house off the market and refurnish her house with some donations and has been deemed competent to control her own finances again. She has been unable to get back personal items such as photographs and family mementos.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Elder Abuse
Even aging adults who live independently can be victims of manipulation and abuse in the event of unfortunate medical emergencies or even routine surgical procedures. A durable power of attorney allows a person of your choosing to make financial decisions in the event that you are deemed incapacitated. Planning ahead for a durable power of attorney or other relevant advance directives can ensure you have one pre-selected and vetted by you when you need one to provide an extra layer of protection and support.
An experienced elder law attorney can help you protect your and your family’s assets, independence, and medical choices in Texas by helping you navigate these forms of asset protection. In addition, a Medicaid crisis planning attorney can make sure you have your finances in place in case of a medical emergency.
Do You Need a Houston Elder Law Attorney?
Whether you are anticipating caring for an aging loved one, already caring for family members, or planning for your or your spouse’s own future, the team at McCulloch Miller, PLLC can help. The attorneys at McCulloch Miller, PLLC take a comprehensive approach to elder law, estate planning, and other long-term care needs and can help protect you and your family and your assets. Contact our office at 713-936-9073 to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney on our team.