Just recently, there was a case in the news of a Brooks Astor, a New York socialite, who is now 104 years of ages. Her grand son is in a heated fight to remove his papa as Mrs. Astor’s caretaker. In court papers that were submitted, the grandson accused his dad of overlooking Mrs. Astor’s health and personal needs and requested a good friend of Mrs. Astor’s be designated as her guardian.
While we may not all remain in Mrs. Astor’s social or economic position, senior custody fights are being propelled by a number of demographic shifts. As the population ages and more people live longer, more senior citizens are most likely to eventually lose their mental or physical capability, leaving decisions over their financial resources and individual care to others. With divorce and second and 3rd marriages leading to stress amongst children and stepfamilies, there is a lot more tension over the care of aging relatives. The occurring custody battles are driven often times by enduring family rifts and the desire to manage the family assets.
Today numerous relative live far away from each other, making it more difficult to monitor the condition and care of elderly family members. In some cases family members are not even familiar with the requirements of the elderly family members or the current condition of their care. For all of these reasons, it is very important to have elders take proactive steps ahead of time to reduce the chances of guardianship procedures or custody fights later.
In Illinois, a person who is of sound mind and memory may designate an individual or a bank trust company to function as a guardian (and may designate successor guardians) on the occasion that she or he is found to be a disabled individual by the courts in Illinois. The designation needs to be in a composed document and checked in the exact same way as a will. The court will identify if the appointment of the designated guardian will be in the finest interests of the person at the time the court identifies that the individual is thought about disabled under the law. A person is thought about handicapped under the law if that person, due to the fact that of psychological deterioration or physical incapacity is unable to manage his individual or financial needs.
There are numerous other steps that a senior should consider taking. First, the senior ought to have a current financial power of attorney in which the senior appoints a reliable representative, often a spouse, another family member, or an adviser, to make financial choices if the senior becomes not able to make them. The senior should also think about the usage of a living trust. The senior transfers the title to all of their properties into that trust. The senior handles the trust up until the senior is no longer able to do so, and is then been successful by a successor trustee appointed by them in their trust file. On the occasion that the senior is once again able to manage his financial affairs, the senior can again control and handle the trust.
The use of the financial power of attorney and living trusts which hold the title to all of the possessions may preclude an intense family battle later. In lots of scenarios, there will not be any requirement for a court selected guardian. Instead, the trustee that was appointed by the disabled senior manages all of the financial matters for the disabled senior and the representative designated by the monetary power of attorney handles monetary and other items that are not owned by the trust. Because case, all of the choices have actually already been made by the senior prior to he or she is unable to do so.
Currently, few individuals plan ahead. The study done by AARP in 2003 which examined 1,500 people age 45 and older discovered that just 27 percent had actually produced a monetary power of attorney file. If you do not desire to be like Mrs. Astor as a pawn in a custody battle, you had much better plan ahead!