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Old 06-04-2012, 06:11 AM
 
2,683 posts, read 3,674,264 times
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Do any of you have one, or do your parents?

If so, why did you get one and how have they helped?

My father is severely disabled, and in his late 60's. It is very hard for him to accept advice from "the kids". I am his primary caregiver, and my brothers help when they can. He has shown some questionable judgment recently.

Maybe an Elder Care lawyer would be a helpful, "impartial", voice...

But how do we find a good one, that my father/we will trust?
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:18 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,601 posts, read 33,061,147 times
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Word of mouth where you live is usually the best referral. The Area Agency on Aging serving your area may have a list of referrals but won't liokely make a recommendation. Check with your state's bar association to check attorneys for complaints or bar action against them. Once you've narrowed down a list, see which ones will provide a first consultation at no charge. You can also see if your father's doctor can recommend anyone.

Depending on how bad his judgement has become your father may need a guardian or conservator. Lots of possibilities. No easy answers.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 17,184,421 times
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Do not accept an outside fiduciary/guardian. We have seen these people rob the poor souls they are in charge of helping. One firm here was recently shut down for their excessive fees. Have one of your family members act as POA with complete transparency. You can all sit down together to go over bills and payments and explain to him what you are doing. It isnt easy and I feel for you.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:36 AM
 
8,210 posts, read 12,441,385 times
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I think some changes can happen in the brain as we age so that no matter how much we don't plan on being difficult when we are old - we are. I feel for you, it can be very trying.

I'm interested in the idea of an elder care lawyer from a different perspective. If you are all alone in the world as I am.....I need an emergency contact. Someone I've discussed things with who can act as a family member should I be say unconscious for a week after an accident. Are there lawyers that do this kind of thing? (Hope I'm not hijacking the OP's thread).
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,601 posts, read 33,061,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I think some changes can happen in the brain as we age so that no matter how much we don't plan on being difficult when we are old - we are. I feel for you, it can be very trying.

I'm interested in the idea of an elder care lawyer from a different perspective. If you are all alone in the world as I am.....I need an emergency contact. Someone I've discussed things with who can act as a family member should I be say unconscious for a week after an accident. Are there lawyers that do this kind of thing? (Hope I'm not hijacking the OP's thread).
There are many attorneys who will act as executors, not just after death to administer an estate but also in the case of inability to handle one's own affairs whether temporary or permanent. They are the ones who usually specialize in family and/or elder law, draw up wills and trusts, etc.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 18,965,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
Do any of you have one, or do your parents?

If so, why did you get one and how have they helped?

My father is severely disabled, and in his late 60's. It is very hard for him to accept advice from "the kids". I am his primary caregiver, and my brothers help when they can. He has shown some questionable judgment recently.

Maybe an Elder Care lawyer would be a helpful, "impartial", voice...

But how do we find a good one, that my father/we will trust?
What kind of advice are you looking for? Lawyers are good for some things - not for others. Robyn
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
6,934 posts, read 7,616,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotleyCrew View Post
Do not accept an outside fiduciary/guardian. We have seen these people rob the poor souls they are in charge of helping. One firm here was recently shut down for their excessive fees. Have one of your family members act as POA with complete transparency. You can all sit down together to go over bills and payments and explain to him what you are doing. It isnt easy and I feel for you.
Many people / families rely upon the family attorney, someone they've had a long-term relationship with. I see far more of these relationships which work for both parties than I've ever heard of one which has failed. Certainly, the relationship needs to be a trusted one. But to discount the possibility of someother than family offering advice would not be the intelligent thing to do. Inform yourself and consider all options before making a decision. Best of luck.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:53 AM
 
10,778 posts, read 10,386,602 times
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Quote:
Many people / families rely upon the family attorney, someone they've had a long-term relationship with. I see far more of these relationships which work for both parties than I've ever heard of one which has failed. Certainly, the relationship needs to be a trusted one. But to discount the possibility of someother than family offering advice would not be the intelligent thing to do. Inform yourself and consider all options before making a decision. Best of luck.
I've been to Elder Law Seminars before and one point that continually comes up is that when it comes to management of an older person's property most of the stealing that takes place is done by family members. A lawyer who steals can and likely will be disbarred for such an action. That's a pretty big deterrent for someone who isn't honest to do the right thing anyway.

My wife worked for Aging Services and saw plenty of situations where children stole their parents blind while supposedly managing their assets for them.

I honestly believe after what I've seen that elderly people who cannot manage their own affairs would do better with either a bank, an accountant, or an attorney doing it for them. Anyone can steal from you. But its mostly likely going to be your family.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:57 PM
 
2,683 posts, read 3,674,264 times
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Thanks everyone. You have brought up some things that I hadn't thought about.

Our family is quite close, and trust is fortunately not an issue. What is hard is when your father still looks at you as a child instead of a doctor/lawyer/indian chief... and has difficulty acknowledging when he needs help/assistance. He does not need to be conserved, and even mentioning something like that would shatter the family, and his trust. But the kids are all aware that he needs more help then he wants to admit.

My situation is probably familiar to you. I tell my dad.... "take your aspirin", but he wont do it until someone he respects like his doctor says "take your aspirin". I would be more insulted, but I have let it go for my sanity. I just wind up making LOTS of doctors appointments.

But doctors can't guide everything. We have never had a trusted family lawyer/accountant etc... We have only had to hire a few professionals this past year when my mom died. My parents have been taken advantage of in their lives (people are awful...) and have learned to trust no hired providers. Sad, but true. We had a shockingly difficult time finding reliable referrals/recommendations. Both the lawyer/accountant were mediocre, at best.

The accountant has asked us multiple times if we have considered looking for an elder law attorney. I think her concern was that my father has some significant savings, and has very substantial long term care needs due to disability. I sensed that she thought we needed direction on how to plan appropriately in light of this. It's true my father has NO CLUE what his long term needs will be, although I do, and I worry a lot about us being able to provide what he needs. But he wont discuss this with us. I think the accountant also sensed that my father is having difficulty living alone but yet is very resistant to change, and that a neutral 3rd party might be able to better guide us to more services as we need them. Anything from reviewing contracts from assisted living organizations, to hiring home health workers ourselves (and managing tax issues) and even to advising on how to protect my father if he decides to suddenly move in with a woman he hasn't seen for 15 years.... who arrives jobless on his doorstep.

Let's just say, every day brings on new challenges.

We don't have any local friends to ask for assistance. No friends with similar situations. Shocking but true. Senior services/department of aging refuse to give you specific recommendations. I am so sick sick sick of lists that mean nothing to me.

Thanks again everyone for your posts. I guess no one with an Elder Care lawyer so far?
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 18,965,953 times
Reputation: 6733
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I've been to Elder Law Seminars before and one point that continually comes up is that when it comes to management of an older person's property most of the stealing that takes place is done by family members. A lawyer who steals can and likely will be disbarred for such an action. That's a pretty big deterrent for someone who isn't honest to do the right thing anyway.

My wife worked for Aging Services and saw plenty of situations where children stole their parents blind while supposedly managing their assets for them.

I honestly believe after what I've seen that elderly people who cannot manage their own affairs would do better with either a bank, an accountant, or an attorney doing it for them. Anyone can steal from you. But its mostly likely going to be your family.
I'm not sure about the accuracy of that statement. After all - you got it at a lawyer CLE seminar .

The way I look at it is like this. If you're an elder - and don't feel like you can handle your money anymore - first look to a possible family member. An ideal family member would be a child or other close relative who is well-educated - knows something about financial planning/investing - and has more money than you do/isn't in hock. IOW - someone like me .

Now - not to pat myself on the back so hard that I fall down - I realize that I am somewhat of an odd duck. So let's look at the other options that you mentioned. I have never read a complimentary article about a bank trust department (even when it comes to people with bazillions of dollars where banks are managing their money - there are mostly lawsuits as opposed to compliments). Accountants aren't trained to manage money - nor are lawyers. Plus - any bank or court appointed accountant/attorney will most likely charge you up the wazoo to manage your money.

It would be nice to hook up with a good portfolio manager when you're younger to handle things when you're older - but you usually have to be worth at least $1 million+ to get a decent portfolio manager.

I am not generally a fan of single premium immediate annuities. But - if you're faced with choosing between incompetent family members and banks/attorneys/accountants to manage your money - I might well choose the annuity. Especially if you're pretty old - can get a decent rate - and can do it in the form of an annuity that might benefit a charity of your choice (although remember to diversify if your estate isn't peanuts). Buy a 10 year guarantee so the kids you don't trust to manage your money will at least get something. Robyn
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