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Denver Elder Law Blog

5 signs your elderly parent could be a target for abuse

We expect people to treat seniors with compassion and respect, especially when they are struggling with declining health.

Unfortunately, not everyone looks at this vulnerable group with kindness and consideration. Too often, exploitative parties look at them and see easy targets for elder abuse. Below are some signs that your aging parent could be this type of target, as well as suggestions for how to protect him or her.

How are you going to pay for a nursing home?

Planning for nursing home care can be more complicated than people realize, especially when it comes to utilizing funds from programs like Medicaid.

As such, taking time now to plan for care in a nursing home can allow you make strategic decisions that make it easier to pay for what you may need in the future.

What you should know about fiduciary duties

Fiduciary duty is something people may not think about until they are in a stressful, upsetting position. Often, the subject arises after someone becomes very ill or passes away. Under these circumstances, it can be very difficult to know what to do, and perhaps more importantly, what not to do.

However, knowing what to do and not do will be critical for someone with a fiduciary duty. 

Where there's a will, there's a way someone may contest it

Having a will in place is an effective way to share your wishes, protect your assets and direct loved ones in how to manage your affairs after you are gone. Because of how important wills are, every adult should have one.

That said, some wills are vulnerable to contests during probate. Whether you are creating a will or have questions about contesting someone else's, there are some important things to understand about will contests.

5 areas to examine when looking for long-term care facilities

There are hundreds of thousands of people in skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, too many of these residents do not get the care or services they deserve.

To protect yourself and your loved ones from inadequate care, there are some important factors you must examine and consider when you are looking for a suitable facility.

Understanding the 'look back period' for Medicaid eligibility

As people get older, their future care needs become increasingly important to think about. How will they pay for care if they suffer a serious illness or injury? What will their quality of life look like if they live in a nursing home or assisted living facility?

These are not easy questions to answer; some people don't even like to think about them. However, taking the time to think about them sooner, rather than later, can be crucial. This is especially true in the context of Medicaid planning, as waiting too long to plan can affect eligibility and lead to costly consequences. This is due in part to the look back period.

What to do if a relative is abusing an elder in the family

As parents or grandparents age, it is natural for younger members of the family to step up and care for them, just the same as their parents or grandparents cared for them when they were young.

Unfortunately, opportunistic people will instead take advantage of older folks’ vulnerability–sometimes even members of their own family. 

When does a guardianship end?

If you or your loved one becomes incapacitated, Colorado courts can assign a legal guardian to make decisions regarding the ward's welfare, support, health, education and care. This person is typically someone appointed by the ward himself or herself, a spouse or an adult child.

The person in this role has numerous rights and duties, making it an important responsibility. Knowing how long this responsibility will last can help you plan accordingly, whether you are planning for your future needs or could be named as a guardian.

Helping elderly parents avoid scams and financial abuse

As parents get older, many adult children are finding themselves in a position to provide care and support for them. This might mean living with them, visiting them every week in a nursing home facility or calling them more frequently to check in on them.

However, if you are invested in protecting your parent’s well-being, providing care and support shouldn’t stop at living arrangements or occasional phone calls. You can also take steps to protect them from common scams and financial abuse.

Non-traditional families and estate planning

Relationships and family structures are more diverse than ever, and people have different goals and needs. That is especially true when it comes to estate planning.

However, too many people assume that rigid, standard estate plans will suffice when they have a non-traditional or complicated family structure. This approach can result in confusion, disputes and unnecessary limitations, as this Forbes article discusses. To avoid or minimize complications when your family is more modern than traditional, consider the following areas.

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