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Abusive guardianships

Families in Nevada are often concerned about the well-being of elderly relatives. In many cases, these family members work hard to ensure that their relatives are cared for and are receiving the medical care and social support that they need. Unfortunately, some families have been torn apart by probate guardianships. In this type of guardianship, the courts may strip elderly persons of their ability to make decisions regarding their own lives.

In a probate guardianship, the guardian has the right to make decisions regarding every aspect of an elderly person's life. This may include decisions about medical care, where the elderly person lives and even who may visit that person. Contrary to what some may think, guardians are not always family members and may, in fact, be "professional" guardians with no relationship to their ward.

While many guardians are ethical people who genuinely want to ensure that the elderly people that they care for are well taken care of, there are some who may have less than noble intentions. As a result, an elderly person's assets may be drained and he or she may be kept from contacting loved ones.

One way that the elderly and their families can protect themselves is through careful estate planning. An experienced attorney can recommend a variety of legal arrangements that reflect the client's desires. This may include drawing up a power of attorney that would appoint a family member as attorney-in-fact who will then be able to make financial and other decisions for the principal in the event of the latter's incapacity.

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