Dementia is a terrible disease and a sensitive, but essential, subject to address with family, especially when the person you are concerned about is also running a household and making life-changing decisions. A person with dementia can become combative and erratic in both their actions and thoughts. They may not agree, or have the ability to agree, to any changes that you propose to protect them and their assets.
Bad decisions happen, usually at surprising times, and you really need help when direct communication with your loved one isn't going to work. There is no shame in admitting that it is better not to do this alone. Outside help may be both ideal and essential and family lawyers are the go-to for help in these difficult times.
The problems created by this disease can easily evolve into a legal issue. So, what do you do when your loved one can no longer care for themselves and needs to be protected, both physically and monetarily? Who should take control? What sort of special needs planning is best for you?
Power Of Attorney
To begin, you need to discuss who is responsible enough to be a power of attorney with your loved one's best interests first and foremost in their minds. Sometimes this is a member of the family and sometimes you must look outside the family for help. Many times, opting for a professional outside the family causes less animosity amongst your tribe.
A power of attorney is a legally appointed person that you and your loved one trust to make decisions for them, whether it be about their home, their money, or their health. The goal is to keep as much stress away from your whole family while you transition into the new relationship you will have to have with your ill loved one.
Guardianship Or Conservatorship?
This is a time of high emotions and difficult decisions and to keep the peace in your family, you may want to give many responsibilities to someone outside the family who can maintain their emotions and make decisions with a clear head.
You may appoint someone to hold guardianship or conservatorship responsibilities over your loved one's circumstances. This can be a family member or a trusted family attorney, which all depends on your unique situation.
A legal guardian, in this matter, is someone who is in charge of the person themselves. A conservator is in charge of the money, assets, and estate. Sometimes a single person can do both jobs and other times, depending on the intricacy of the estate, a separation of powers may be warranted.
You know what is best for your loved one and no matter what you choose, our team of experienced and compassionate professionals can take difficult and emotional problems out of your hands and make judicious decisions that maintain your trust and your loved one's dignity. The entire goal is to keep them safe and as healthy as possible.
Protection From Elder Abuse
Dementia may cause a person to be unnecessarily suspicious of people that they know and love, which can unintentionally harm the family dynamic and cast a shadow of doubt over the care that your loved one is getting from another family member. This could cause you to have lingering doubts about that person and their ability to honestly represent everyone's best interests.
Appointing an outside guardian or conservator will protect everyone from accusations of elder abuse, both physically and monetarily. The system is set up to minimize any attempt at the exploitation of your family as your conservator must create several regular reports over the health and general welfare over your loved one while tracking all money spent and all decisions made for their care.
Loving someone includes making sure that they are protected from harm and always have what they need to lead the most fulfilling and secure life possible for them, no matter their mental status. You do have options when it comes to their protection and taking it outside the family frees you up to live your own lives while ensuring that the time you have left with your loved one will be as easier and much more positive.
Your Security, In Our Hands
Law Offices of James C. Shields will create a positive, tailor-made, and effective solution to your unique money and guardianship problems. Please, contact us to schedule a free consultation, and we can answer any questions that you may have.
If you are looking to put your mind at ease, we are here to serve you, and your family's, best interests.