Articles Tagged with Conservatorship

9.13.19“By the time Groucho was an old man, however, he experienced significant problems in his daily activities, medical decision-making and the management of his estate. He suffered from elements of dementia, a heart attack and congestive heart failure, falls resulting in a broken hip, and after that hip was repaired, another fall and broken hip, urinary tract infections, strokes and hypertension.”

Julius Henry Marx, better known as Groucho, died 42 years ago on Aug. 19, 1977, at age 86. Groucho teamed with three of his four brothers—Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo—to become stars of vaudeville, Broadway, film, radio and television. (A fifth brother, Gummo, wasn’t part of the act).

PBS News Hours’ recent article, “How Groucho Marx fell prey to elder abuse” reports that the legal battles over Groucho’s money and possessions went on long after he died. The unrest of his last few years is familiar to adult children concerned with the well-being of their elderly parents.

7.26.19The progressive nature of dementia makes advance directives necessary to manage the health care needs of the patient.

When adult children suspect that one or both of their parents may be suffering from the early symptoms of dementia, it’s a good idea to sit down with an experienced elder care attorney to start planning for the legal issues that will follow, says The Roanoke Times in the article “What to do in absence of advance directive.” If the parent is unwilling to cooperate, the attorney will be able to refer the family to a social worker or other professional who may be able to assist. In addition, a geriatric evaluation consultation with a board-certified geriatrician will help to clarify the medical issues.

It’s wise for anyone older than 55 to have advance directives in place, should they become incapacitated so a trusted agent can fulfill the patient’s wishes in a dignified manner. Think ahead and plan ahead.

6.25.19The number of seniors being exploited or abused quadrupled from 2013-2017. Tracked now by a number of financial institutions that submit data to FinCEN, a federal government watchdog agency, elder abuse has become a national epidemic.

More than 180,000 Suspicious Activity Reports submitted by banks to the federal government were analyzed by the Consumer Financial Projection Bureau (CFPC). For professionals working in estate planning and probate law, the numbers are not surprising. They routinely hear tales of exploitation by scammers, family members and caregivers from families who are seeing elderly loved ones being taken advantage of, says ABC 15 Phoenix’s recent online report, “Protecting seniors from financial predators.”

Families reach out to these attorneys who specialize in senior issues because they're concerned that a grandparent or parent is being scammed.

1.24.19Among the top three reasons for an estate plan are to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, helping your loved ones from having to pay more taxes than necessary and if possible, avoiding having your estate go through probate.

When there are minor children or family members with special needs, it’s critical to have an estate plan, advises the Capital Press in the article, “Ag Finance: Why you need to do estate planning.”

While it’s likely that most adult children can work things out, even if it’s costly and time-consuming in probate, minor young children need protection. Wills are frequently written, so the estate goes to the child when he or she reaches age 18. However, few teens can manage big property at that age. A trust can help, by directing that the property will be held for the child by a trustee or executor until a set age, like 25 or 30.

1.8.19There are a number of different estate planning documents that are easily confused, including “Power of Attorney.” Let’s get a look at the different types of “Power of Attorney,” and what they do.

Of the estate planning documents, most people have heard of a will and some have a health care proxy. The Power of Attorney is effective while you are still living, and is also known as a “Durable Power of Attorney” because it is effective, or durable, even after you become incapacitated. Your will only becomes effective when you die.

The Times Herald says in the article “Powers of attorney good for life and beyond” that there are two general types of powers of attorney, one for financial matters and the other for health care matters. They shouldn’t be combined in a single document, because they have different legal requirements. Unless they say otherwise in the document, powers of attorney don’t expire until the creator does. However, there are a few powers in both financial and health care powers of attorney that can survive the person who created the document.

MP900407501Can you imagine not being notified if your parent had been injured, fell ill or had even passed away? With a recently increasing occurrence across the country, state representatives are proposing changes to ensure children have visitation rights to ailing parents.

Fox News shared Catherine Falk’s story in an article titled“'Columbo' daughter pushes for bill that protects the right to visit sick parents.” The daughter of Peter Falk, a five-time Emmy Award winner as Lt. Columbo, laughs as she recalls memories about her funny father, like forgetting about Christmas presents they had given him after he had put them in the trunk of his car, only to find them all there still the next year. But when he got sick, it was no laughing matter. Catherine claims she was kept out of the details of her father’s condition, including being able to see or talk to him. Thousands of adult children in America are finding themselves going through a similar experience.

In Falk’s case, she and her stepmother were locked in a court battle over conservatorship and access to Peter for years. In 2008, he became completely incapacitated from his advanced dementia. Catherine then decided to create the Catherine Falk Organization, which advocates for the rights of adult children to see their sick parents.

Stack of law books“We are delighted to inform the public that the court has appointed Bobby Brown and Pat Houston as co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina Brown (‘Krissi’),” read a statement issued by David Long-Daniels, counsel for Pat Houston and Cissy Houston, and Christopher Brown, an attorney for Bobby Brown. “Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Houston are jointly responsible for decisions related to Krissi’s care and medical needs.” A court-appointed attorney, Bedelia Hargrove, will act as a conservator for the 22-year-old.

The court-appointed attorney specializes in fiduciary litigation, probate and estate administration, estate planning, personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well as general civil litigation.

As conservator, the attorney “is responsible for Krissi’s assets, including her likeness, rights and legal claims,” according to the statement read by attorneys for the family.

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