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Dallas Legal Issues Blog

Do questions arise when you visit your elderly parent?

If you're like many adult children in Texas, you may have thoroughly researched various assisted living facilities before choosing a new full-time residence for your aging mother or father. Such situations are intensely personal, and highly emotional as well, when your parent is no longer able to live independently and the need arises for you to entrust his or her care to nursing home officials and other care professionals. Of course, you assume that all caregivers will have your parent's best interests at heart.

Sadly, many nursing homes appear to be top notch facilities on the surface, while serious problems regarding abuse and neglect exist behind the scenes. If you know the signs of neglect ahead of time, you may be able to help your parent avoid trauma.

Protecting your loved ones through guardianships

Your Texas family may find that it is necessary to establish certain protections for the benefit of a loved one. Guardianship is a tool that you may be able to use to care for a loved one and ensure the full protection of his or her best interests. You cannot simply decide to be the guardian of a loved one or make verbal agreements, but you could take legal steps to have the necessary protections in place.

Guardianships are for individuals who are unable to care for themselves. Whether your loved one has a mental condition or is physically unable to care for themselves, it may be useful to explore what your family needs to do to ensure protection, quality care and security. 

Who or what is liable for your Texas car accident?

Even a minor car accident can leave you with seriously painful and lingering injuries. The aftermath of this type of situation is complicated as you deal with insurance, medical treatment and getting your vehicle repaired or replaced. This is all particularly frustrating if your Texas car accident was not your fault.

No one should have to suffer because of the reckless or negligent actions of another person. If you were hurt in an accident, and you do not think you are to blame, it is possible that you have grounds to move forward with a civil claim against the liable party. This sounds simple, but determining fault after an accident can be quite complex.

Advice for aging Dallas drivers

Your elderly parent is likely proud of the fact that he or she still has a driver's license. Dad feels more independent knowing that he can drive himself to the store whenever he needs. Mom is hesitant to relinquish the choice to be able to visit a friend whenever she feels like it without needing to ask for a ride. Driving helps older adults feel more autonomous. As an added bonus, your elderly parent having a driver's license probably means more freedom for you as well.

However, as age increases, so does the risk of injury or even death in an automobile crash. With over 40 million drivers on the road over the age of 65 - an increase of 50 percent since 1999 -- this can be a worrying fact for adult children with aging parents.

How estate planning now may prevent problems later

Procrastination is common, and, for the most part, harmless. When it comes to preparing for your elderly loved one's future, however, procrastination can prove to be a bit more of a concern. Despite the host of reasons why early estate planning is advisable, your elderly loved one may be hesitant to begin the estate planning process because:

  • Thinking about mortality and mental incapacity is unpleasant
  • He or she believes there will always be time to do it later
  • He or she doesn't want to give up autonomy by sharing personal information with someone else
  • He or she is unsure how to divide the estate and doesn't wish to cause hurt feelings or disagreement

I cannot work after my car accident. Now what?

A car accident can change your life in an instant. In a matter of moments, you may find yourself with medical bills, catastrophic injuries and a significant amount of damage to your personal property. The consequences of such an accident go beyond your finances; they may impact your ability to work and support your family.

When a serious car accident leaves you permanently or temporarily disabled, what are your options? Not only do you need medical care and recovery from the wages you lost from missing work, you need to know how you will survive if you are unable to work for an extended period of time. If this is the situation in which you find yourself, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

When mom or dad become incapacitated, you may seek a guardianship

Watching parents age and become less able to care for themselves can be difficult go through for most adults. No one wants to see their parents this way, but it happens. When it does, whether you reside in Texas or elsewhere, it may be possible for you to seek guardianship of your elderly parent -- under the right circumstances.

Advance directives -- a way to make your wishes known

There is no telling what the future holds. So, when estate planning, one must plan for every conceivable situation. This may seem to be an impossible task. While it can take time, it is something you can work through with the assistance of an estate planning attorney.

Is your elderly loved one a victim of financial exploitation?

Elderly individuals are common targets in schemes solely designed to rob them of their wealth, and your loved one may be a victim of this type of scheme. While no physical harm occurred, the mental and emotional anguish that a victim and his or her family may feel after learning of the exploitation can be overwhelming.

If you suspect that a loved one was a target for exploitation or believe that it is currently taking place, the time to take legal action is now. You may feel powerless, but you can defend your vulnerable family member by taking the appropriate legal steps to protect his or her best interests. The financial exploitation of elderly adults is illegal and reprehensible, but you have the power to stop it.

Signs that your elderly loved one needs help

Will you be seeing elderly loved ones this holiday season? If yes, then it is a good opportunity to make sure that their needs are being met.

Unfortunately, health can deteriorate quickly in old age, and elderly individuals are vulnerable to abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. To make sure that your loved one is protected from all of these things, take a careful look for these warning signs:

Does your loved one who lives independently appear very weak or sickly?

The holidays and post-holidays are the busiest time of the year for long-term senior care admissions. After not seeing elderly loved ones for weeks, months or even years, families often realize that their loved ones need help after spending the holidays together.

Are things in your loved ones home out of place or in disarray?

In addition to exhibiting forgetfulness or confusion, there are visual cues in a person's home that can suggest that he or she is suffering from mental disorientation. These signs should never be ignored because they suggest that dementia or another cognitive impairment could be happening.

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Law Offices of Brian H. Fant, P.C.
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Dallas, TX 75206

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