How to Protect Your Estate From Caregivers and Greedy Family Members? Mina Sirkin, Elder Law Attorney Protects the Future of Your Estate in Woodland Hills
If you had the choice of picking among your greedy grandson, your daughter who does not get along with the rest of the family, a caregiver, or a professional fiduciary, as the person to manage your estate, who would you chose? It is not an easy decision.
GREEDY GRANDSON: In the most recent years, I have received many calls from grandmothers and grandfathers whose grandson or granddaughter has moved in, and has become financially dependent on the grandparents. In the olden days, children were pushed out of the house and sent to work. The new generation has less work-ethic than those who grew up in the 40s or 50. You should move grandchildren to independence by asking them to pay rent for their stay in your home. Yes, you may not need the income, but you are saying that the grandchild will be treated as a responsible adult, if staying at your home. You should create a rental agreement and enforce payment of rent. This protects your estate from litigation when the rest of your family come checking you you and your estate.
THE CHILD THAT DOES NOT GET ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE FAMILY: This child may actually create litigation in your estate. You can protect your estate from costly conservatorship cases, by NOT naming this child as an agent under a power of attorney, or as a trustee. As a general rule, your trustee and executor must be able to manage his or her emotions with respect to other beneficiaries, and must not favor himself or herself.
SHOULD I MARRY MY CAREGIVER? Many of our customers call us with this question. We say NO!! Caregiver marriages usually end up in the estate being depleted. It is not to say that every caregiver is an abuser. Many people are good-hearted, but the profession lends itself to endearing the elderly which make our job of protecting the elder's estate and assets difficult. In one sentence: Don't do it!
Protecting your future financial well-being starts with making a financial transition plan which an include a professional fiduciary. A professional conservator, trustee, and executor are usually bonded and insured. Use these services to protect your estate from caregivers, and greedy family members. You should know that most estates need to be protected when an elder gets up in age.
At some point, children or caregivers will have access to your assets. This should encourage you to decide whether family or professionals should be in charge of management of your assets, and when that asset protection should go into effect.
LATE MARRIAGES CREATE RISKS IN ESTATE PROTECTION: When a caregiver attempts to abuse an elderly, he or she may attempt to marry the elder. Marriage gives the caregiver priority in a conservatorship proceeding under certain circumstances. You should be aware and worry about getting married late in life, and protect yourself from elder financial abuse.
Mina Sirkin is an estate protection advisor, and and an elder estate law attorney in Woodland Hills and Los Angeles. As a Los Angeles Estate Planning lawyer, Mina Sirkin is a legal advisor to seniors and elders, and frequently writes about how to protect your estate from financial abuse. For speaker information and lectures on matters involving estate planning for seniors in Woodland Hills, contact us. Contact Mina Sirkin at 818-340-4479 or by email: Info@SirkinLaw.com.
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