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There are countless laws in the United States designed to protect the elderly as they decline mentally and physically. The broad topic is called elder law, and it covers a variety of issues, from health care to social security, guardianship and fraud, and more. It’s about wills and estate planning and what happens to your assets after you’re gone. This can be a complicated topic, but it’s important to know about as you get older. Here are some of the most important issues to be aware of.
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You never know what might happen to you on the road, so it’s best to be prepared. You may be fine now, but it’s important that you and your loved ones have a plan for what to do if you ever find yourself unable to handle your own affairs. When you’re fit in mind and body, here’s some advance guidance you can take against a day when you’re not.
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As a person ages and begins to lose their abilities, it becomes more difficult for them to make important decisions about their own lives. They may have a child, spouse, or trusted friend to advise them on these decisions, but when they decline further, it is necessary to give that person complete control over their life and affairs.
A power of attorney (or durable power of attorney) is a legal document that allows you to act on behalf of another person in a variety of financial, legal, and other matters. This includes paying bills, managing and creating assets. Medical and life decision. Different types of power of attorney can be granted:
This gives a guardian complete control over the affairs of their charge. They handle all of that person’s money and other assets and can make all the decisions on their behalf, including buying life insurance for them, running their business for them, speaking for them in court, and more. It is usually given when a person lacks the physical or mental capacity to make decisions or act for themselves.
It allows a person to give control of a certain aspect of their life to someone else, but retain autonomy in all other areas. It is given when the person is unable to do specific things but retains his general mental abilities.
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It specifically gives one person the power to make medical decisions on behalf of another. This includes things like medications, surgeries and other procedures, and what steps should be taken in a person’s last days.
As a senior with declining physical and mental health, it is a good idea to make arrangements in advance to hand over any power of attorney to someone you trust when you are incapacitated. It’s much easier for everyone involved to do it voluntarily than to go to court and have them declare you legally incapable.
A living will is similar to a health care power of attorney that deals with a person’s medical issues after they become physically or mentally unable to make important decisions for themselves. However, while a healthcare POA empowers someone to act as an agent on someone else’s behalf and make those decisions for them, in a living will, the senior writes their medical wishes on their own, while they still have their abilities, the day they no longer do.
There are forms you can fill out that ask questions about what you want to do in various medical situations, such as whether you need long-term care or life-saving surgery, or are in your final days. Different states have different requirements for filing a living will, so talk to an attorney who can help you through the process.
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The DNR order states that no immediate life-saving measures should be taken on your behalf. For example, if you suddenly stop breathing or your heart stops, a paramedic should not perform CPR. It also means you don’t want to be on life support. While a living will is filed by an attorney, a DNR comes from your doctor.
If an elderly person has not given power of attorney to someone else, but their capacity to act on their behalf is not clear, a guardian or conservator can be appointed for them. The court appoints a trusted family member or friend to make decisions on your behalf, such as finances and medical care. If no family members or trusted friends are willing to take on that responsibility, a professional guardian may be appointed instead.
This implies that older people tend to be more confident, which makes them easier to use. It is particularly used to advantage by telemarketers and telephone-based scammers. A person who appears charming and helpful on the phone can trick an unsuspecting senior into buying a product or service for more than it’s worth, or handing over their credit card and bank account information, a form of identity theft.
Statistics show that older people are less likely to report fraud. Often, they don’t realize they’ve been cheated. If they do, they will be too embarrassed to tell anyone. Falling for a scam can be evidence that they can no longer take care of themselves and need an appointed guardian, making many seniors reluctant to admit they’ve been cheated on. Or even if they want to report it, they don’t know how or where to do it.
How The Elderly Lose Their Rights
To protect yourself against fraud and elder abuse, never give out financial information over the phone. Never pay to collect winnings that you are entitled to. Never sign any document without first consulting a lawyer or financial professional. If someone tells you that a certain product or service is necessary or necessary, always get a second opinion from someone you trust before moving forward.
Friendly Grandparent Syndrome is not just trusting others when they call, but wanting to be helpful. For this reason, many scams against the elderly involve fake charities or fundraising efforts. This type of fraud is more common after natural disasters. A scammer pretends to call and collect money to help victims. And unsuspecting seniors will pay them in an effort to be helpful.
To protect against this type of scam, give only to charities you know and trust. If someone calls claiming to be fundraising for a particular organization, look them up online first, and once they’ve been verified, give directly to the official website, rather than to someone over the phone.
It also helps to ask questions. Who exactly will benefit from this donation? How will the money be used, and what specific efforts does the charity make towards its goals? Fraudsters often use sad stories to gain a senior’s sympathy, but when it comes to actual details about how the money is spent or what activities the charity takes, they can be lacking.
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Does this scene sound familiar? Someone comes to your door claiming to be a contractor or provide a specific service to your home. The exterior of your house looks shabby, but they can repaint it. Your driveway is cracked, but they can restore it. People in your neighborhood have a special introductory offer, but only if you act now.
This is how home repair scammers are taking advantage of people across the country, especially the elderly. They may call and offer a specific service, such as cleaning your air ducts, or ask what type of repairs or improvements you would like done around the house and ask if they can give you an estimate.
They will quote you a fair price. But once they take a closer look at your home, they’ll discover all kinds of other problems that threaten your safety and need to be taken care of immediately — and cost thousands of dollars. They may do subpar work or sell you an extended warranty and then refuse to honor it when the job doesn’t hold up.
Despite all your precautions, what if you get scammed? What help do you have? What can you do? Here are the steps you need to take.
How Can Senior Citizens Protect Themselves From Financial Exploitations By Their Own Families?
We’ve talked a lot about how to protect yourself, whether it’s from fraud or your own collapse. But what does the law say about old age and related issues? Bye.
The committee was established in 1961 with the aim of examining the issues
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