Protecting people against exploitation using guardianships

Indiana seniors may be protected against elder abuse by a bill that passed in 2017. The Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act is intended to protect older people and their families from fraudulent guardianships.

Getting guardianship on behalf of an older person may be necessary if the person is incapacitated. For example, a person may develop Alzheimer's disease, and it might be necessary for a family member to step in to manage the person's affairs. The person can go to court and apply for guardianship. This is a serious step since it removes all rights from the ward. The guardian becomes the sole decision maker.

Unfortunately, if an unscrupulous person manages to get guardianship, it can be disastrous. Guardians may be able to change all assets, including trusts, so that they are in the guardian's name. They can also charge the estate for anything they do that is allegedly on the person's behalf. They can control who the older person speaks to and all family access to the ward.

This was the case for the father of the director of the Americans Against Probate Guardianship. A family friend took advantage of his father after he developed Alzheimer's disease. In addition to defrauding him of over $200,000, she neglected his health.

A person who is concerned that something like this may be happening to loved ones might want to consult Indianapolis, Indiana attorneys handling adult guardianships. Families may also need to establish a guardianship themselves in some cases. This may not only be for elderly family members. Adults of any ages may become incapacitated through injury or accident, or a person who is born with special needs may need assistance in managing affairs as an adult. An attorney may be able to explain a family's options in all of these situations.

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