Monday, July 20, 2009

Financial Abuse by Caretakers

The New York Times reports that estate battles are breaking out all over, on estates large and small, and oh boy are they nasty.

One story tells of a 99 year-old man who married his caretaker. Even though she wasn't in his will, his 48-year-old wife is suing for her statutorily defined share of his estate. His sons say he suffered from severe dementia.

Another caretaker is being accused of tricking a woman she took care of for eight years. Three years after the woman was diagnosed with dementia the caretaker drained the bank accounts and transferred the home into her name.

A good probate and estate planning attorney can ensure these types of situations do not occur. The way to do so is with comprehensive powers of attorney, thorough caregiver agreements, very tight amendment and revocation procedures in documents, complete funding of trusts, and clear and appropriate communication with beneficiaries and fiduciaries while you are competent. For Utahns, contact Hughes Estate Group, Attorneys, (800-422-0627) if anything mentioned in this article strikes close to home.

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