Caregivers and Legal Issues
November 15, 2019
As people get older, they may need someone to regularly look after them; often, this person ends up being a child or another family member. Caregivers have an enormous responsibility and while the job can be rewarding, it is also stressful. In addition to stress-related health risks, caregivers also face legal issues when it comes to their aging loved ones. Some of the main legal issues pertaining to caregivers that our Brooklyn elder law lawyers have assisted include the following topics.
End of Life Decisions
There are specific questions that caregivers may have difficulty answering, especially if the aging person does not have a living will or a health care proxy. That is why it is important for caregivers to encourage their loved ones to create a living will or medical directive where they state their wishes regarding medical care in the event of incapacitation. Caregivers must also make decisions regarding the elderly person’s living situation. Depending on the person’s needs, they may require in-home care or constant supervision in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Power of Attorney
When loved ones are not mentally competent to make decisions for themselves, caregivers may have to seek guardianship. This process may be lengthy and riddled with obstacles; it is important for elders to name a durable power of attorney (POA) before they become incapable of doing so.
Naming a durable POA will ensure that the named person has legal authority to make important life decisions on behalf of the principal in the event of their incapacitation. A POA may be granted authority to make decisions pertaining to real estate, banking transactions, business operating transactions, estate transactions, claims and litigation, tax matters, and other financial matters. However, POAs who abuse their position by stealing money or mismanaging assets may lose their power.
Scams and Elder Abuse
The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to financial abuse and exploitation. Many unscrupulous individuals attempt to defraud elderly people through email scams and other ploys. Caregivers should also be aware of this possibility so they can help protect their loved ones from this form of elder abuse.
If the person running the scam is the elder’s POA, a caregiver may need to step in and challenge the guardianship based on abuse of authority. If the POA is mismanaging or stealing assets from the principal, the court may relieve them of their responsibilities and assign someone else the position.
Brooklyn Elder Law Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Help Caregivers Understand Their Legal Rights and Responsibilities
The Brooklyn elder law lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP assist caregivers with legal issues so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their family. Our attorneys are experienced in handling caregiver legal issues, as well as other family matters. We represent clients throughout the state, including those in Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York from our offices located in Brooklyn, New York, and Lakewood, New Jersey. For a confidential consultation, contact us online or call us at 212-495-8133.