Guardianships aren’t the most commonly talked about part of caring for elders, but unfortunately, they do become occasionally necessary. Not everyone has a power of attorney set up before they become incapacitated, either because they put it off until it is too late, or because the onset of their incapacitating condition is so sudden, they have no time to prepare. Either way, it is important to know what a guardian is, just in case a guardian becomes necessary for you or your loved ones. Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Have a Guardian?”
Telephone and internet scams have been around for decades. Criminalistic hackers and con artists prey on the most vulnerable in an attempt to rob them of their fortune; the most vulnerable are our senior citizens. Senior citizens are often the main targets, as they spend most of their time in leisure, usually by the phone or on their computer. Hackers understand this trend in senior citizen behavior and attack when you least expect it. Continue reading “New Jersey’s FedUp Program Seeks to Help Seniors from Falling Victim to a Scam”
Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. In long-term care facilities across the U.S., elders are facing financial abuse in alarming numbers. Nursing home financial abuse is a growing issue in today’s society and is likely to increase as the elderly population continues to grow. As many as one in nine individuals over the age of 60 years old have reported being financially exploited within the last year, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. Elder financial abuse can cause serious harm to the senior and may result in depression, financial destitution, inability to support long-term care needs, among other effects. Continue reading “Nursing Home Financial Abuse”
An authorization for final disposition allows someone to designate an agent to make arrangements for their funeral, as well as take control of his or her body upon death. An authorization for final disposition can set forth instructions for the following:
- Flowers; and
- Cost, among other arrangements.
With technology becoming increasingly prominent in our every day lives, the risk of financial exploitation has increased as well. Those that are especially at risk include the elderly and adults with mental or physical impairments and scammers know to take advantage of them. Instances of financial exploitation commonly involve:
- Telephone scams requesting money for a loved one in trouble; financial information; donations; or claiming you are the winner of a lottery or sweepstakes
- Professional” scams where people are pressured into taking out loans or participating in investment schemes that promise unrealistic returns
- Misuse of a Power of Attorney or joint bank accounts by family members
Soon, nursing homes in New Jersey will be required to have employees notify the local police department within hours of a suspected claim of abuse. This law, also known as Peggy’s Law, was adopted to provide protection to residents of nursing homes who are being abused. The law was named after Peggy Marzolla, who died at 93 years of age, after sustaining injuries while in the care of a nursing home. In 2010, Ms. Marzolla was brought to the hospital where doctors discovered she had a broken jaw, eye socket, cheekbone, and wrist. She also had bruises on her elbows, welts on her back and a gash on her leg. Continue reading “Peggy’s Law”
While some people are pleased with the way a decedent allocated assets to his or her beneficiaries, others may not be. However, just because a person was not given what he or she felt they were entitled to, does not necessarily provide them with the grounds necessary to challenge a decedent’s will. An individual must determine whether challenging a decedent’s will is both valid and will succeed in the eyes of the law because the process is timely and expensive. It is worth mentioning that a decedent has a right to allocate his or her assets or other meaningful possessions to those of their choosing. This includes leaving assets or large sums of money to a charity or other institution. However, this does not preclude a beneficiary or heir from challenging the decedent’s will.
Regardless of how many assets you own, estate planning is an important component of your overall financial plan. A properly expected estate plan can help to secure a financial legacy for loved ones and express medical decisions if you are unable to do so. Estate planning can be complex, so it is important to consult the guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer.
It may be a big undertaking when obtaining a power of attorney for a family member or loved one. A power of attorney provides authority to an agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. The “principal” is the person for whom an individual is acting as power of attorney. The “agent” is the individual responsible for carrying out the wishes of the “principal.”
More than 68 percent of New Jersey residents know someone who has or had dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, according to a survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson’s PublicMind. Dementia is a group of symptoms that can include impairments to one’s ability to think and communicate, as well as memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is a progressive, degenerative disorder that impairs thinking, behavior and memory. Due to the degenerative nature of the disease, those with Alzheimer’s are encouraged to obtain an advance directive, a legal document that can direct medical and financial wishes, even after the point when individuals lose the ability to do so themselves.