Atlanta Elder Lawyer Perspective: Legal Concerns for Caregivers

Atlanta Elder Lawyer Perspective: Legal Concerns for Caregivers

cobb county elder law

Elder lawyers in Atlanta work not just with our older clients, but also with their caregivers.  In many cases, this means adult children who have or will be given power of attorney, not to mention those who just step up to help when something is needed.  There are some legal issues which seem to arise caused by people who see the elderly as targets or victims, and often it is the caregiver who is left to pick up the pieces.  A good Atlanta elder lawyer may be able to help you prepare for, and hopefully avoid, these pitfalls.

Unscrupulous Siblings

Unfortunately, caregivers may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of confronting a sibling who is taking advantage of the elderly parent.  It seems the least responsible child can sometimes find ways to “freeload” off the parent: requesting money, gifts, and special favors which the parent cannot necessarily afford.

While it’s no fun, it may be necessary to step in and put a stop to this behavior.  This is much easier if the caregiver has a financial power of attorney in place.  Even then, it can be difficult to convince the parent that he or she needs to stop funding the sibling’s bad behavior.

Another concern in this area is a sibling or siblings can falsely accuse the caregiver of misconduct.  It could be because the sibling simply doesn’t understand the day-to-day responsibilities of taking care of the parents, or they may be jealous of the caregiver’s relationship with the parent.  Greed can also come into play, with the sibling wanting as much money as possible to be left in the parent’s estate for him or her to inherit.

Scam Artists

While unscrupulous siblings are certainly disheartening, the prevalence of strangers willing to take advantage of elderly people is absolutely infuriating.  From those who want to sell bogus or unnecessary insurance policies to those who will flat-out rob a person of their identity, caregivers need to be vigilant to keep their vulnerable loved ones protected.  Your Atlanta elder lawyer can keep you apprised of common scams which are going around the area and will offer useful advice for how to keep these con artists out of your family’s accounts.

Lovers

A different group of people who are willing to take advantage of elderly folks are those who will insinuate themselves into the parent’s life as a boyfriend or girlfriend.  In some cases, these individuals may be considerably younger—what are commonly referred to as “gold diggers.”  These people flatter the elderly person, providing him or her with attention and what appears to be love.  Instead, the “lover” is really interested in bleeding the elderly person’s bank account.  He or she may even be angling to be named in the will.

Working with an Atlanta elder lawyer may afford some options for protection against someone who is obviously using your parent for financial gain.  To learn what documents need to be in place to ensure your loved one’s finances stay protected and managed by someone the senior trusts, simply give our Atlanta area law firm a call at 770-425-6060 and ask to schedule a Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session.

Your Marietta Elder Law Attorney’s Guide to Medicare Prescription Drug Information

Dec2010FWMnewsletter_blankFreeBy Steve Worrall, Marietta Elder Law Attorney

If you watch television at all, you can’t miss the increase in ads for Medicare prescription drug coverage. 

What you might not know is that the open enrollment period for this coverage expires December 31st

If you (or your parents) are eligible for Medicare, you need to take advantage of this coverage now or you’ll pay more for it later. 

Space does not allow us to break the whole plan down for you, but here’s some information to help you sort out your options. 

What Is The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan?

Medicare Part D allows people covered by Medicare to buy additional insurance coverage to help them pay for their prescription medications.  Medicare works with various insurance companies to provide this benefit and it’s available to everyone with Medicare regardless of income, your medical conditions or how much your prescriptions cost.

Where To Go For Additional Information

As with most government programs, the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan can be confusing.  The following resources are available to help you sort out the best plan for your needs:

www.medicare.gov – This is the official site for people covered by Medicare.

Medicare & You – This is a brochure containing information about various prescription drug plans, how to compare the plans and how to apply for extra assistance.

www.medicare.gov/MPDPF/Home.asp – This is an online tool that helps you compare various plans side by side to decide which plan will work best for you.

www.yourpharmacybenefit.org – This website was created to help people make the best use of their prescription benefits.

www.mymedicarematters.org – This provides basic information on Medicare and what it covers so you can decide what, if any, additional coverage you need.

www.benefitscheckup.org – This website is provided by the National Council on Aging and gives information on any changes to the eligibility requirements and what Medicare actually provides.  You may be eligible for benefits you aren’t even aware of. 

All of these resources are available, free of charge, on the internet.  If you have any additional questions, contact Medicare directly at 1-800-Medicare to speak with someone who can help you, one on one.