My widowed aunt who lives alone in NJ was diagnosed with dementia. Recently we’ve learned that her condition has significantly deteriorated. Can you advise on what steps need to be taken to get her proper care her finances in order?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

My widowed aunt who lives alone in NJ was diagnosed with dementia. Recently we’ve learned that her condition has significantly deteriorated. Can you advise on what steps need to be taken to get her proper care her finances in order?

She is frequently brought home by the police or kind strangers when she gets
confused and can’t find her way home. Among many other things, she can no
longer remember family names and connections, including her kids. She can’t
remember things that were mentioned moments prior. We found a bank balance
that has dropped over 200,000 in less than 2 years. Her bank knows her so she
just walks in and withdraws money with no id or bank card and they allow her to
withdraw hundreds at a time, sometimes multiple times a day. No one has access
to ANY of her financials. She has no will. It seems pretty clear that she can’t live
alone anymore and may need constant care, but she will not move in with anyone
insists that she will stay alone in her home until she dies. One thing that has been
constant is that she is very stubborn. Trying to get her to do anything she doesn’t
want to do will be ugly.

Asked on November 8, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The attorney is right: only a person of sound mind can create a will (or a power of attorney). What she needs is a legal guardian: that is, she needs to be declared incompetent by a court and then have somene appointed her guardian and given the power to make decisions for her and manage her affairs. Speak to an elder law attorney about how to do this and who should be involved in the process (e.g. her children). This is not a simple legal matter, like a small claims case: you will need attorney assistance.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption