Elders– Planning Ahead is Key to Financial Stability

In Probate by Vivan Ramos

Just recently, there was a case in the news of a Brooks Astor, a New York socialite, who is now 104 years old. Her grand son is in a heated battle to eliminate his papa as Mrs. Astor’s caregiver. In court documents that were filed, the grand son accused his dad of overlooking Mrs. Astor’s health and personal needs and asked for a buddy of Mrs. Astor’s be designated as her guardian.

While we may not all be in Mrs. Astor’s social or economic position, senior custody fights are being propelled by a variety of group shifts. As the population ages and more people live longer, more senior citizens are likely to ultimately lose their psychological or physical capability, leaving choices over their finances and personal care to others. With divorce and second and third marital relationships resulting in stress among kids and stepfamilies, there is a lot more stress over the care of aging relatives. The ensuing custody battles are driven lots of times by enduring family rifts and the desire to manage the family assets.
Today lots of relative live far from each other, making it more hard to keep track of the condition and care of senior family members. Sometimes family members are not even knowledgeable about the requirements of the senior relatives or the existing condition of their care. For all of these reasons, it is necessary to have elders take proactive steps ahead of time to minimize the possibilities of guardianship procedures or custody battles later.

In Illinois, a person who is of sound mind and memory might designate a person or a bank trust business to serve as a guardian (and may designate successor guardians) on the occasion that she or he is found to be a handicapped person by the courts in Illinois. The designation needs to be in a composed document and signed in the exact same manner as a will. The court will determine if the consultation of the designated guardian will be in the finest interests of the individual at the time the court identifies that the person is considered handicapped under the law. An individual is thought about disabled under the law if that person, due to the fact that of psychological wear and tear or physical inability is unable to handle his individual or financial needs.
There are numerous other steps that a senior must consider taking. Initially, the senior must have a present financial power of attorney in which the senior appoints a reliable agent, frequently a spouse, another relative, or an advisor, to make financial choices if the senior ends up being not able to make them. The senior must likewise consider the use 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 succeeded by a successor trustee selected by them in their trust file. In the occasion that the senior is again able to manage his financial affairs, the senior can once 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 prevent a strong family battle later. In lots of scenarios, there will not be any requirement for a court designated guardian. Rather, the trustee that was appointed by the handicapped senior manages all of the monetary matters for the handicapped senior and the agent selected by the financial power of attorney manages financial and other products that are not owned by the trust. Because case, all of the decisions have actually currently been made by the senior prior to he or she is unable to do so.
Currently, few people plan ahead. The study done by AARP in 2003 which examined 1,500 individuals age 45 and older found that just 27 percent had created a monetary power of attorney document. So, if you do not wish to be like Mrs. Astor as a pawn in a custody fight, you had better plan ahead!