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How Do We Ensure Our Parents Are Not Taken Advantage Of?

  • September 10th, 2019
Q
My father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. My mother has not, but she has been showing signs of memory issues. As their son, I am their agent under a power of attorney. Since they live far away, is there a way to protect them from being taken advantage of? Specifically, we are concerned about whether we can limit the power of their signature without completely removing their ability to sign for things? We do not want to make their signature invalid but we do want to ensure that they are not tricked into signing a document that they should not sign. What is the solution to give us peace of mind that nobody can trick my parents into signing a document that is not in their best interest?
A

While it is possible to have a limited conservatorship that restricts some of your parents' legal rights while leaving them with others, these are unusual and would involve an expensive and time-consuming procedure in court. The best approach is to stay in as close touch as possible with your parents in order to avoid their being taken advantage of and to be able to correct any problematic situation quickly. In almost all cases, contracts or agreements can be reversed if you can show that the person signing them did not completely understand them. Threats to report companies to the Better Business Bureau or the state attorney general’s consumer protection department can be very effective.

For more information on guardianship and conservatorship, click here.

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Last Modified: 09/10/2019

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