Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Putting your Parent in a Nursing Home

Q: Who can choose the facility where a parent will reside?

Whoever said the “Golden Years” were really golden probably never had adult children fighting over the type of adult living facility they were going to put her in.

Seniors who hope to avoid being a victim of elder abuse at the hands of their families or other caregivers should see an estate planning attorney as early as possible to put their legal affairs in order.

Some issues and elder law attorney can assist with, in addition to preparing a will and or trust, include:

  • powers of attorneys and living wills
  • long-term care planning
  • Medicaid and other public benefits planning

In addition to the above, estate planning attorneys handle matters that affect many seniors--especially the large percentage who suffer from dementia. These clients often need assistance in selecting the right long-term care facility and in obtaining guardianships/conservatorships.

So, what happens when a senior with mild dementia can no longer live independently?

One sibling may want mama in a memory care facility while another may think a standard assisted living center is a better fit. Even if one of them has a power of attorney and can sign a contract on her behalf with either facility—they can’t make mama move into it if she doesn’t want to go.

When adult children disagree on what type of facility their parent should reside in, or if they are in agreement but the senior is not, a guardianship for seniors may be the next step.

A guardianship is a legal arrangement where one person, such as an adult child, becomes the guardian or custodian of someone who is no longer able to care for themselves or make sound decisions, such as an aging and/or compromised parent. Guardianships can be either over the person (non-financial) or over their property (financial).

Guardianships of the person enable the appointed guardian to make decisions that impact the well-being of the protected person including, among other things, determining and maintaining the person's residence. Because guardianship will substantially alter the protected person's rights and privileges, guardianship involves a formal legal proceeding rather than an in-office appointment.

If you or a loved one is in need of a guardianship for seniors, the experienced estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge can help you. We routinely work with seniors and their loved ones to determine the best course of action, file the required paperwork, represent them in proceedings, and even work with guardians after their appointment to keep up-to-date accountings. Contact us today to request a consultation.

From our offices in San Jose, we've been proudly serving the South Bay area of California for over 23 years in all areas of estate planning.

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