With the average age of the population rising, concerns about what will happen to elderly family members is coming into the forefront of elder law. Estate planning options, such as powers of attorney and living trusts, may be used to care for an elderly family member, but if those options are not available, it may be necessary to obtain a guardianship. The key for District of Columbia residents is to get a guardianship put into place before a loved one suffers any harm.
When a District of Columbia resident lacks the capacity to care for himself or herself, a trusted family member or friend may step forward as an agent in accordance with powers of attorney for health and finances previously executed by the incapacitated person. In the absence of these documents, it is necessary to obtain court approval to act on that person's behalf. A guardianship is established with a minimum of fanfare and interruption in the individual's care.
Music fans in the District of Columbia probably already know that B.B. King's health is failing. He now has in-home hospice care and his affairs are being handled by his manager, who was given power of attorney by King. Recently, three of King's children went to court to obtain guardianship of their father.
There may come a time in your life when you or a family member may need someone else to make decisions on your behalf. Estate planning can allow you -- or your family members -- to retain control of whom that person will be. Fortunately, even if you have not done any pre-planning, the laws of the District of Columbia allow a guardianship to be ordered to permit someone appointed by the court to handle the financial and medical issues in the event of incapacitation.
As many District of Columbia residents age, they are afflicted with conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia, which can diminish their mental capacity. At some point, it may become necessary to seek guardianship of a loved one in order to ensure that the person and his or her finances are protected. Guardianship of an incapacitated individual is sought through the Superior Court of DC Probate Division Court.
As the population of our country continues to age, more people -- including many here in the District of Columbia -- may end up needing long-term care because of an illness or incapacitation. When an adult lacks the capacity to care for himself or herself, it becomes necessary for someone -- usually a family member -- to step forward and take over that individual's care. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain a guardianship and conservatorship to handle the health care and financial affairs of a loved one.
Thankfully, most people rarely or never have to call 911 for a medical issue. Surprisingly, a woman that lives in Washington, DC has made use of the 911 system no less than 266 times in the last year. City officials have filed a petition to have a legal guardian appointed for the woman in an attempt to curb her use of that system.
As adult children in the District of Columbia are faced with caring for their elderly parents, it may be time to discuss powers of attorney with them. As part of elder care, powers of attorney can be invaluable. They will allow adult children to handle their parents' affairs in the event they become incapacitated or are in some other way unable to make decisions for themselves.
As the number of elderly people in our society grows, so does the technology that helps keep them safe. When it comes to elder care, more families here in Washington, DC and around the country are turning to technology to keep an eye on their older loved ones. Of course, as with anything in our society, that technology comes with a price.
A lot of the elderly in the District of Columbia are not able to be cared for adequately by their loved ones and require long-term care. For an elderly person's legal guardian, the decision on what facility would be best for the elder in his or her charge can be a difficult one. Now, there may be one other criterion a legal guardian can use to make the decision.