Protecting Your Elders
Naturally, you want your older relatives to continue to lead interesting
and productive lives as they age. But as they get older, seniors may have
memory or judgment lapses. Dementia can creep in slowly, almost imperceptibly.
Or a major or minor stroke can affect their mental capacity. Unfortunately,
predators have found a lucrative target in seniors, a target that's
growing as the population ages.
Conservatorship can go a long way to put your mind at ease. A conservator is appointed
by the court to administer the financial affairs of a person who becomes
unable to do so for themselves. The arrangement is flexible: A conservator
can handle all the protected person's assets, or the court may restrict
the conservator's powers depending on the situation.
Why a Conservatorship?
Unfortunately, it's very easy to scam an elderly person out of their
money. And once a scammer finds a target, they won't let go until
all the person's assets are drained. Scammers phone the elderly (sometimes
as often as twenty times a day) and tell them they've won a prize
and have to pay the taxes up front. They pretend to be relatives who have
been arrested and need bail money. Or they say they're from the IRS
and threaten to take the person's home. All the senior has to do is
wire the money.
Worse than scammers are the elder's family members or friends, who
are able to talk them out of money or property, or persuade them to sign
legal papers "for their own protection."
A responsible conservator is able to avoid these predators. For more information
on scams, go to
Setting Up A Conservatorship.
Conservatorships are governed by the California Probate Court and the Welfare
Institution Codes. Talk with an attorney to establish the needs of your
elder and what kind of legal protection will be most effective. The attorney
can go to court on your behalf to establish a conservatorship.
Disability Rights California has excellent information on conservatorship at
If you'd like to learn more about conservatorships,
contact us for a consultation.