Elder Law

Greed or Passive Opportunism? Financial Exploitation of the Elderly an Unfortunate Reality

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From where I sit, it’s not uncommon to find myself with a front row seat peering into the darker side of humanity. It’s hard to imagine anything more heartbreaking than litigating a probate case involving the apparent financial exploitation of an elderly citizen with dementia.

But the sad reality is that instances of financial exploitation of the elderly are actually on the rise throughout our country.  Some elder law professionals speculate that the increase is due to a combination of factors, ...

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Planning for Incapacity and Minimizing Allegations of Undue Influence

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If you have an aging loved one who is beginning to show signs of cognitive impairment, National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is the perfect time to explore whether his/her estate planning documents are in order.

Each year at this time we like to remind our “more senior clients” and their family members how critical it is to ensure that one’s legal documents are up to date prior to the onset of cognitive decline.

Executing estate planning documents while one has full legal capacity ...

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Advance Directives and Your Legal Authority For Missing Family Members – What Do You Do?

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Acting as a Successor Trustee – Advance Directives and How They Affect You  

The news is full of speculation as to the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  The March 8, 2014 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared.  No trace of the plane – or its 239 passengers and crew – has been found yet.

If your Aunt Miniver were on MH370, what documents would give you the legal authority to transact her affairs while she is missing?  Additionally, if she was ...

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Elder Abuse & Exploitation: What to Look For

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According to the American Psychological Association, roughly 2.1 million elderly Americans become victims to abuse each year. Elderly adults may become victimized due to isolation, physical and/or mental disabilities, and dependence on others. Elderly victims are often reluctant to report abuse. The abuser may be family and the victim may mistakenly defend them or feel that they deserved the abuse or exploitation in some way. As with any type of abuse, they may also feel ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid.

To stop ...

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Undue Influence: How to Spot When Assistance crosses the Line

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Everyone has influence in their life. Influence is the ability to effect someone’s character and behavior. When raising children, a parent’s influence is generally positive. Parents choose their child’s clothing, diet, social environment, residence, education and entertainment.

So, what is undue influence? This type of negative influence involves a person taking a position of power over another person. To put it into perspective, here are a few examples.

Should a teacher tell a student which political party or candidate to favor?
Should ...

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