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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Licensed experienced Attorney
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Elder Financial Abuse: My 85 year old father has four female

Customer Question

Elder Financial Abuse:

My 85 year old father has four female caregivers. They are related and all work for the same caregiver service.

After 6-9 months, he has become attached to them.

He informed us that he is opening a bank account and plans to transfer money from his trust into an account for the caregiver. He feels sorry for them because they give him a song and dance about needing money for family.

The caregiver in question freely admits that she has received lavish gifts and inheritances from her prior clients. She is clearly taking advantage of him.

We are concerned that he will transfer a large portion of his estate to this con artist and won't have enough money to provide his care through the remainder of his life.

What can we do? (p.s. please transfer call if family law is the wrong section)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello. My name is Alex and I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about your difficult situation.

Was your father ever declared incompetent?

Is your father lucid and in the sound state of mind?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


He has ups and downs. He has had several episodes where he wasn't lucid and it takes a couple of months to recover. He is quite cognizant now...so she is primarily taking advantage of his trust and gullibility at the moment. She is probably about 32.


 


The doctor had already agreed to sign the letter to give us control of his assets, but we hadn't done it yet. We are proceeding down that path. We were told by the doctor that we need to write the letter to match the terminology related to this in his trust.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Dear Tom,

Thank you for your follow up.

Are most of your father's assets in trust that he controls?

Does the trust provide for your appointment as a trustee, in case an MD determines that your father in not competent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes.


 


The trust provides for that...so we need to pull the exact language from the trust and put it in the letter for the doctor to sign.


 


However, my understanding was that the letter would cover all of his financial assets, not just the trust.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Actually, the trust has about a million and his rollover IRA has a little more.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Dear Tom,

Depending on the language in the trust agreement, the letter from the doctor might or might not allow you to substitute your father a s a trustee for the trust, however in order for you to take charge of all of your father's assets, you would need to file a petition with the local probate court to establish your father incompetent and if he is established to be incompetent by the court (based on the evaluation by an independent committee), then you would have to file petition to be appointed your father's legal guardian.

If the court appoints you as your father's legal guardian, then you will be able to control your father's assets.

This is a complex area of elder law and I would suggest that you do consult and retain a local elder law attorney to help you with this process.

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