The sandwich generation is becoming a very popular term in the 21st century in California and elsewhere in the country. It refers to baby-boomers who are attempting to tend to the needs of adult children, aging parents and their own impending retirement years all at the same time. Needless to say, this generation is spread very thin across these three tasks. One area that may require extra attention is protecting the estate assets of their aging parents.
Financial abuse of the elderly is a real and growing issue. Many people faced with caring for parents and children are hiring caretakers for their elderly parents, which, sadly, can end in one's parents estate being exploited to benefit the caregiver. One such case occurred recently in Alameda.
A man hired a live-in care giver for his elderly step-mother. Family members soon found themselves cut off from access to her and even locked out of the home. In addition, they had been written out of the step-mother's estate plan. The caretaker had gotten the documents revised in the caretaker's favor. The son sued for breach of fiduciary duty and financial elder abuse, but the estate had already been robbed of $5 million.
Financial elder abuse is a growing problem in California. The need for caretakers is a real one as no one can realistically be expected to serve as a parent to both his or her parents and children concurrently over the long term. There are steps that can be taken to protect one's elder parents from abuse. Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help one become familiar with legal options to help protect the estate assets of the parties concerned from financial abuse.