WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR PARENTS FROM FINANCIAL FRAUD

By David Oliver & Susan Littleton, Attorneys At Law

Loving adult children sometimes find that an elderly parent, who was once responsible and independent, has fallen prey to financial schemes by predators—including other family members.  If you are facing this challenge, your natural instinct is to move in and heroically try to wrestle control away.

That is not always the best course to pursue.  A mentally impaired or incompetent parent may agree to give to you a power of attorney to act on their behalf, but you cannot count on that holding up in court if others challenge it.  Furthermore, from the moment you receive your parent’s power of attorney, your role is no longer merely that of a loving child; you act as a fiduciary who must meet a much higher legal standard of responsibility if your actions are challenged, including defending your decisions in court.

The process of obtaining from a court the legal authority to act, typically called Appointment as Adult Guardian is complicated. Nevertheless, it is well worth considering. It often proves to be the best and least expensive way for you to protect your parent and their estate from unscrupulous or unwise family members or other predators.

It is important to find an experienced attorney when pursuing this path.

Many courts require those who wish to be appointed as a guardian to retain legal counsel who is designated as approved by that particular court to represent a guardian or even to briefly serve as a court appointed guardian.

Above all else, the attorney should make every effort to work collaboratively with other family members towards a loving solution. A responsible and compassionate attorney should offer a no cost consultation to assess your situation.

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About your authors:

David Oliver is a Texas licensed attorney and The Fowler Law Firm PC Managing Attorney Georgetown, Texas.  He is an accomplished attorney with decades of experience serving as an active duty officer in the United States Marine Corps and has advised military members and their families all over the world. David is approved to represent clients in guardianship cases in Texas Courts.

Susan Littleton has practiced as a Texas licensed attorney since 1991 and enjoys a very loyal following of clients whose needs include family law, adoption, child custody and guardianship.

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As with any legal issue, please consult your attorney with questions.