What to do if we suspect abuse and neglect of an elderly relative?

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What to do if we suspect abuse and neglect of an elderly relative?

About 9 years ago this relative named her only son her agent as Immediate Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. She was living with son at the time, then paid cash for a home which she moved into. As she grew older, members of her church moved in. She told family they were receiving free room and board in exchange for companionship,etc. Church members alienated her from her family. She ended up in emergency room then was transferred to a skilled nursing facility for cellulitis and severe bed sores. We also suspect malnutrition. We found out that 6 years ago, she gave Power of Attorney for all her assets and her healthcare to a church member.APS report made. Advice to family?

Asked on July 16, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, it seems that there are indeed red flags regarding the situation.  What the family needs to do is to go to court to be appointed as the guardian and conservator of their relative's estate. Once appointed they can take charge if the situation.  The appointment will cancel out the POA and will allow the new fiduciary to take action against those that have abused her both physically and monetarily.  Good luck.


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