Elderly Americans have to fight for their rights, just as does everyone else. Reaching an older age does not mean having to ignore legal realities. Instead, the elderly should avail themselves of a good family lawyer to prevent others from taking advantage of them.
Here are three times when elderly people may have to avail themselves of the legal system.
- To Avoid Being Declared Incompetent
There may come a time in which a family member will attempt to declare an elderly parent incompetent. Adult offspring can come to believe that a parent no longer possesses the ability to take care of themselves. If the courts decide that the parent is incompetent, then the children are often the ones assigned the right to make life decisions for the parent.
The problem is that some elderly can find the accusation of incompetence disrespectful and untrue. Elderly parents have the right to challenge in competency requests.
- To Make a Change to a Will
A last will and testament is a document that makes known the wishes an individual wants carried out upon death. Though the deceased can leave many requests, it is usually property allocations that receive the most concern. Basically, survivors want to know what how much money they will get.
It may necessary to change the terms of the will. Perhaps a child has proved unwise with money, for example. For whatever reasons, a person can alter the terms whenever they feel the need.
- To Stop Physical Abuse
Unfortunately, physical abuse of the elderly is on the rise throughout the world, including the United States. This abuse can take place at home or in assisted living facilities. It is another form of domestic violence.
The elderly have the right to protect themselves from such violence. At times, the abused may not want to pursue criminal charges. Instead, they can file an order with the family court division perhaps to restrain their attacker from visiting them. They may also be able to force the assailant to get counseling in lieu of going to jail.
Getting Legal Advice
Sadly, the elderly are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of or abused. It is always best to contact an attorney for legal advice in any of the above situations.
A good family lawyer (such as one from Topalian & Associates) stays abreast of the prevailing rules concerning things affecting the elderly. These attorneys help ensure that the elderly receive justice before the courts.