What is a guardianship?A guardianship is usually defined as a protective legal proceeding for someone who is incapacitated and unable to manage his/her own affairs. Incapacitated means that the elder is no longer able to receive and evaluate information and communicate decisions. This usually applies to the ability to make financial decisions or care-related decisions.
Have you been officially asked to manage someone else's money? For example, have you been named as an agent under a power of attorney or appointed trustee of a trust? As our society ages, more and more people are being asked to take on these roles, but they come with both powers and responsibilities, and problems can arise.
On Thursday, October 12th, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at taking action on Obamacare. Trump said the order is "starting that process" to repeal Obamacare. It will be the "first steps to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief," Trump said. Administration officials hinted that the Order is just the beginning of the administration’s actions related to the goal of unraveling the current health-care law.
Serious problems with the public guardianship system in the United States can lead to elder abuse, according to an in-depth article in The New Yorker titled “How the Elderly Lose their Rights.” Court-appointed guardians can take control of an elderly person’s finances and life and become wealthy while doing so. One expert interviewed describes the guardianship system as “a morass, a total mess.”
If your child has reached the teenage years, you may already feel as though you are losing control of her life. This is legally true once your child reaches the age of 18 because then the state considers your child to be an adult with the legal right to govern his or her own life.
The Supreme Court of the United States handed down its opinion on Kindred Nursing Centers, L.P. v. Clark, No. 16-32 on May 15, 2017. The case addressed whether or not a person acting as a power of attorney could bind an estate to an arbitration agreement.
A growing problem with adult guardianship abuse is giving rise to calls for reform of the system. Vulnerable elderly can get caught in the guardianship system, being harmed and exploited by the very process that is supposed to protect them.
What is an advance health care directive (or living will)?Helping someone prepare for end-of-life medical decisions can be of great comfort to both the person and to others in his family. The document that helps you do this is an advance health care directive, or living will -- what it's called and what it includes depends on where the person lives -- sometimes paired with a power of attorney for health care. For information about how to set up an advance health care directive or living will, see Advance Health Care Directives and Living Wills: A Step-by-Step Guide .
If the person in your care is in good health, you may not be thinking about her possible need for a conservatorship, or adult guardianship. But if you're considering this step, you're not alone. The unfortunate truth is that many older adults have long periods toward the end of life when they're not able to make decisions for themselves -- due to Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, a stroke, an accident, or some other serious medical condition. If the person has an advance health care directive , the decision-making about her medical care, if she becomes incapacitated, may already be provided for. If she has a durable power of attorney for finances , there will be someone to take care of money matters.