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Dueling Guardianships

David English | 1.22.09

Retirement Community

The need for a guardianship often arises in response to a crisis. In haste, family members and other concerned individuals from different states may simultaneously seek the appointment of guardians by various courts.

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Seniors and Financial Abuse


Financial abuse is, sadly, more common than most of us realize. Here's what happens. A beloved older person begins to fail. The family is unable to give constant care because of distance in miles, the requirements of a job, and/or a demanding personal family life. A caregiver appears and seems willing and able to manage the care. The family is relieved and gradually comes to depend on the caregiver for information and even emotional support.


As time goes by, the caregiver takes over the elder's checkbook to balance it, to pay bills, and buy groceries and other needed items. Eventually, the caregiver obtains a power of attorney to better manage the elder's affairs.


According to Aging Today, the bi-monthly newspaper of the American Society on Aging, "legal instruments such as power of attorney, can become tools of manipulation, fraud and deceit." >>More