Recently there the New York Times reported that artist Peter Max being taken advantage of as his faculties have degenerated due to dementia. Elder abuse like what is described in this article is atrociously vile, and unfortunately happens more often than you think. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Adult Protection Services, there were over 57,582 alleged or validated victims of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation in 2018 alone. What’s even more heartbreaking for me as an attorney in Plano is that 16,873 of these alleged or validated victims were in Collin County. That’s almost one-third of the victims in the whole state.
One thing that can be a deterrent to Elder Abuse is Estate Planning. Appointing your Medical Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney, and getting a Deceleration of Guardian in the event of Later Incapacity allow you to appoint people you trust to take care of your medical and financial affairs in the event that you are later unable to make decisions for yourself (whether you have dementia or otherwise). These documents are very powerful, but must be done before you no longer understand the documents you are signing or the powers you are giving to your agents.
In previous blogs, I’ve already outlined what I think the important qualities of these people are, but I want to reiterate again that you should consider picking people you trust and who understand your wishes.
If you or a loved one have been recently diagnosed with dementia, I would encourage you to make an appointment with our office right away while you are still able to make decisions. Give us a call at 214-292-4225 to set up an appointment today.
If you are not quite ready to set up an appointment, visit https://www.aaronmillerlaw.com/reports/planning-for-declining-health.cfm to request our free Planning for Declining Health guide to get some more information.