Recently, there was a case in the news of a Brooks Astor, a New york city socialite, who is now 104 years of ages. Her grand son is in a heated battle to remove his father as Mrs. Astor’s caretaker. In court papers that were submitted, the grand son accused his daddy of ignoring Mrs. Astor’s health and personal needs and requested a friend of Mrs. Astor’s be appointed as her guardian.

While we may not all be in Mrs. Astor’s social or economic position, senior custody battles are being moved by a number of group shifts. As the population ages and more people live longer, more senior citizens are most likely to eventually lose their mental or physical capacity, leaving decisions over their finances and personal care to others. With divorce and second and 3rd marital relationships resulting in tension among children and stepfamilies, there is a lot more stress over the care of aging loved ones. The taking place custody battles are driven numerous times by enduring family rifts and the desire to control the family assets.
Today numerous family members live far away from each other, making it harder to keep track of the condition and care of senior family members. Sometimes family members are not even conscious of the needs of the senior loved ones or the current condition of their care. For all of these reasons, it is necessary to have senior citizens take proactive steps ahead of time to lessen the possibilities of guardianship proceedings or custody battles later.

In Illinois, an individual who is of sound mind and memory may designate a person or a bank trust business to function as a guardian (and might designate successor guardians) on the occasion that she or he is discovered to be a disabled person by the courts in Illinois. The classification requires to be in a written document and checked in the very same way as a will. The court will determine if the consultation of the designated guardian will remain in the very best interests of the individual at the time the court figures out that the person is considered handicapped under the law. An individual is thought about handicapped under the law if that individual, because of psychological degeneration or physical incapacity is not able to handle his personal or monetary needs.
There are several other actions that a senior need to think about taking. The senior should have a current financial power of attorney in which the senior selects a trustworthy agent, often a spouse, another family member, or a consultant, to make financial decisions if the senior becomes unable to make them. The senior ought to likewise think about making use of a living trust. The senior transfers the title to all of their possessions into that trust. The senior handles the trust up until the senior is no longer able to do so, and is then been successful by a follower trustee selected by them in their trust file. In the event that the senior is again able to manage his monetary affairs, the senior can again manage and handle the trust.

The usage of the financial power of attorney and living trusts which hold the title to all of the properties may prevent an intense family fight later on. In many circumstances, there will not be any requirement for a court appointed guardian. Instead, the trustee that was selected by the disabled senior handles all of the monetary matters for the handicapped senior and the agent appointed by the monetary power of attorney manages monetary and other products that are not owned by the trust. In that case, all of the decisions have actually already been made by the senior before she or he is not able to do so.
Currently, few individuals plan ahead. The study done by AARP in 2003 which examined 1,500 individuals age 45 and older discovered that just 27 percent had created a monetary power of attorney file. So, if you don’t wish to resemble Mrs. Astor as a pawn in a custody fight, you had better plan ahead!