Parent Giving Away a Lot of Money????

Parent Giving Away a Lot of Money???

Hi, Everyone and Happy Thursday. I had a question come in this morning that applies to the seniors and elderly parents worldwide and their adult children trying to protect their interests.
This person asked - "What do we do with my mother-in-law who has fallen in love with a man she has never met, he's 18, and she is in her late 70's, and he is clearly misrepresenting himself to her - and she is sending him SO much money?! She thinks he is coming 'home' to marry her. She thinks it is her right to spend her money anyway she wants. What do we do?"
1. In most states and provinces there are three types of mental incompetency:
Likely to cause harm to someone else.
Likely to cause harm to themselves.
OR - Unable to protect their own interests and take care of themselves.
2. Take this into account and balance it against for example, 14 US states have "elder abandonment" laws - and it is possible that an adult child could be sued for "abandonment" if their parent, for example, is showing any signs of the three areas listed in #1, and he/ she did nothing to trying to intervene to help.
At some point in many a senior or elderly person's life, the person may start showing signs that their decision-making seems shall we say, "impaired" - that the younger version of themselves that we may remember as a parent would not be approving of decisions the older version of the parent is making today.
Meanwhile as older adult children, we talk on egg-shells, afraid to confront to strongly, or harshly...perhaps the parent is threatening to change a will of trust, or to disown them, etc.
The question is: When is it the right time to start "parenting our parents - putting our foot down and protecting them from themselves?" When has the parent crossed the line and needs the adult child to step in and firmly take actions to limit the parent's decision-making?
The good news is it does not need to entirely be the adult child making the decision - it just may take the adult child raising their voice for 'concern.' So - who does make the decision? The Court.
Whether you call it Conservator, Guardianship, or Committee, the adult child can file with the court and first obtain support statements from the parent's doctors or mental health professional *psychologist, psychiatrist), and anyone else who can confirm the parent is making some unusual decisions. For example, when a parent is consistently sending money out of country to someone he/ she has never met, and firmly believing there is a romantic relationship with someone 60 years younger, the likelihood that this really is a romantic relationship is fairly certainly slim to none.
The Court weighs all possibilities, including the right of the person to continue to make their own decisions for as long as possible as long as it is not harming themselves or another. For example, "giving all your money away" then needing others to donate to pay your bills would be seen as irrational decision-making most likely. Once the adult child (or could be a court appointed lawyer) takes on the parent, then court letters can be stamped / notarized and distributed to banks and credit unions, credit card companies, credit bureaus, assisted living or nursing homes, hospitals if the person is admitted, stores, or anywhere else where the person has a pattern of 'going' - for example online to Amazon, or to a home shopping and ordering program.
In many states this court decision is reviewed annually and needs to be reaffirmed annually.
"Raising a parent" takes a community these days. Most adult children do not live near their parents. If you see a senior or elderly person making odd decisions, or acting in a way that seems really outside the norm, please step in and try to help. We are a safer society, and keep each other safer by getting involved. "Lean in" - one day you may be one of the people who needs help.

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Caesi Bevis, Author / Speaker Bio

Bevis Consulting

Bevis Consulting

Principal of Bevis Consulting. I am a Futurist, Research Writer, Public Speaker, Voice Over Professional, Consultant, and Expert Witness with over 20+ years background in competitive intelligence, market research, and 13+ years in legislation research and consulting in both the U.S. and Canada. My marketing expertise in recent years includes social network and Internet marketing. I am the former President of the Canadian Business Intelligence Association. My PhD coursework is in Human Behavior Leadership, with an MBA with an International Finance focus, BBA with core courses in Marketing and AA in Advertising Design.

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