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For Some Elders, Guardianship is Akin to Prison

ElderLaw

As a senior citizen with wisdom learned through countless life lessons, one would expect to be treated with a high level of respect and admiration. Senior citizens have provided and sacrificed for their families for decades, and it only makes sense that they should be treated with respect, appreciation, and a high social status. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many seniors face discrimination in everything from loan applications and job opportunities to how they are treated by businesses and their very own loved ones. Even worse is the systematic theft of freedom that some seniors are now experiencing through forced guardianships by individuals or groups that profit from them. Elders across the nation, who are of sound mind and who do not need a guardianship are fighting for their guardianships to be vacated, as reported by the New York Times.

What a Guardianship Means

A guardianship is a form of financial and physical protection for elders who are considered incapacitated or incompetent. Incapacitated individuals are unable to make decisions for themselves, decisions ranging from medical and financial to day-to-day living. Due to dementia and Alzheimer’s, millions of elders rely on family members who have been given the legal right to make decisions on behalf of their elders through guardianship. Guardians decide where the elder lives, manage their finances, and make medical decisions for the elder, who is referred to as the ward. However, many guardians take advantage of their wards. In fact, a large percentage of elder financial abuse is committed by guardians, according to Reuters.

Fighting Predator Guardians

Not all guardianships are a good thing that protects the senior. New guardianship businesses have formed to seize and liquidate the hard-earned assets of elders for their own profit. These guardians charge exorbitant fees while often placing the elders in sub-standard living conditions. How does this happen? One way involves the senior being a target through a small infraction such as a traffic violation, upon which the elder is petitioned to be declared incapacitated. Anyone can petition for an elder to be declared incapacitated. Upon a court’s findings, which are often completely inaccurate, an individual who has no experience as a guardian can seize the assets of a senior once a judge grants him or her the authority to do so. This person can be a family member, lawyer, or third party who works for a guardianship company. An individual can take a one-day class in some states and be eligible to care for an elder. As a result, the senior loses control of his or her assets, health, and entire life.

Call Maryland Guardianship Attorney Erica Redmond at Frame & Frame

If you have been, or know someone who has been, declared incapacitated by a judge, you can appeal the decision and object to the guardianship that was unfairly placed on a ward. Help someone take back freedom and a stolen life by calling the compassionate, experienced Pasadena elder law attorneys at Frame & Frame today. Call us at 410-255-0373 to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.

Resources:

reuters.com/article/us-column-miller-seniors/column-with-u-s-elder-abuse-in-spotlight-a-look-at-guardians-idUSKBN1CP154

nytimes.com/2018/12/07/nyregion/court-appointed-guardianship-like-prison.html

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