How to protect an elderly person?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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Tracker968
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How to protect an elderly person?

Post by Tracker968 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:38 pm

If I understand it correctly, a power of attorney will give a 2nd party the ability to sign on someone else's behalf. But I think the 1st party can still sign for themselves right? Is there some way to require that both the POA party and the 1st party have to sign documents? For example, is there a way to prevent an elderly person from making out a new will and signing it by themselves? Could a bank account be set up to require two people to make withdrawls etc? I have no financial interest in the situation - just hope to prevent someone from being taken advantage of.

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dm200
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Re: How to protect an elderly person?

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:45 pm

Tracker968 wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:38 pm
If I understand it correctly, a power of attorney will give a 2nd party the ability to sign on someone else's behalf. But I think the 1st party can still sign for themselves right? Is there some way to require that both the POA party and the 1st party have to sign documents? For example, is there a way to prevent an elderly person from making out a new will and signing it by themselves? Could a bank account be set up to require two people to make withdrawls etc? I have no financial interest in the situation - just hope to prevent someone from being taken advantage of.
1. Yes, even if a PoA is granted, the grantor can always (unless there is some unusual competency issue) sign themselves. They can also revoke the PoA at any time.

2. Two party signatures requirements were once very common, but today most financial institutions do not like or want to enforce them for checks or withdrawals

3. Yes, an elderly person can be at risk of undue influence in changing their will, etc. I think (do not know) that the only sure way to prevent it is getting the person declared incompetent and/or some kind of custodianship. Well beyond my competence.

bsteiner
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Re: How to protect an elderly person?

Post by bsteiner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:47 pm

If there's a predator on the scene, and there's someone the elderly person fully trusts, the elderly person could create a trust for his/her own benefit that he/she can't amend or revoke without the consent of the trustee(s).

However, unless there's a specific predator on the scene, most people would prefer to take the risk of being taken advantage of than to give up control over their assets.

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dm200
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Re: How to protect an elderly person?

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:26 pm

Have physical and electronic (phone, email, texts) gatekeeping of the elderly person from "predatory" influences. Phone calls from fraudulent sales folks can entrap such folks. Watch for UPS and Fedex packages because many fraudsters avoid the postal service because of postal laws. Become known as a "good" guy/gal with local banks, credit unions, etc. - even UPS and FedEx delivery folks. Discuss ideas with an attorney.

Good Luck!

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pondering
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Re: How to protect an elderly person?

Post by pondering » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:16 pm

Come up with a plan to review financial statement in a timely manner every month.

If the person is still capable, just let them let you know they have conducted the review. Otherwise you do it.
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

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CaliJim
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Re: How to protect an elderly person?

Post by CaliJim » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 am

It is possible to establish an adult guardianship or conservatorship to protect a person who is incapable of fully protecting themselves.

Guardianships and conservatorships require court approval, which implement the legal concept of parens patriae.

The guardian or conservator has much more control and is subject to review by the courts. Change to a will made by a person under conservation would I think be liable to be contested and thrown out. Access to funds by the person under conservation could be tightly controlled.
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ResearchMed
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Re: How to protect an elderly person?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:09 am

CaliJim wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 am
It is possible to establish an adult guardianship or conservatorship to protect a person who is incapable of fully protecting themselves.

Guardianships and conservatorships require court approval, which implement the legal concept of parens patriae.

The guardian or conservator has much more control and is subject to review by the courts. Change to a will made by a person under conservation would I think be liable to be contested and thrown out. Access to funds by the person under conservation could be tightly controlled.
If a person is under some sort of guardianship that is supposed to keep that person from accessing funds, what would happen if that person somehow did answer a phone call scam or such, and somehow sign an agreement (even door to door scam)?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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CaliJim
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Re: How to protect an elderly person?

Post by CaliJim » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:03 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:09 am
CaliJim wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 am
It is possible to establish an adult guardianship or conservatorship to protect a person who is incapable of fully protecting themselves.

Guardianships and conservatorships require court approval, which implement the legal concept of parens patriae.

The guardian or conservator has much more control and is subject to review by the courts. Change to a will made by a person under conservation would I think be liable to be contested and thrown out. Access to funds by the person under conservation could be tightly controlled.
If a person is under some sort of guardianship that is supposed to keep that person from accessing funds, what would happen if that person somehow did answer a phone call scam or such, and somehow sign an agreement (even door to door scam)?

RM
1) they would not have access to much in any cash, no CCs in their name, no online access to accounts, etc
2) any contracts would be unenforcable. same as if a minor child signed a contract
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