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When a parent's declining mental capacity becomes an issue

Many adult children worry about the health and safety of their aging parents. This is especially true in cases where a parent's mental capacity begins to deteriorate. When a parent exhibits symptoms that are readily associated with dementia or Alzheimer's, it's important to take steps to ensure for not only a parent's physical safety, but also his or her financial security.

Elderly individuals are often the targets of financial fraud and Internet scams. In cases where an individual with dementia is targeted, he or she could potentially end up giving away hundreds or thousands of dollars. When it becomes obvious that a parent is "unable to make rational or informed decisions," an adult child may choose to take steps to be appointed a parent's legal guardian.

In order to obtain legal guardianship status of an aging parent, an individual must go through the courts. During this process, medical records along with an independent exam from a court-appointed psychologist are used to determine whether or not a parent is deemed legally incompetent. Additionally, the courts take great care to thoroughly vet whether or not the individual who is petitioning for guardianship status is an appropriate choice.

An attorney who handles elder law matters can assist individuals who are seeking to obtain legal guardianship of a parent. For New York City residents, the estate planning attorneys at Connors And Sullivan Attorneys At Law, PLLC, have extensive knowledge of and experience with helping families provide for the physical safety and financial security of aging loved ones.

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