Last month, Buzz Aldrin filed a lawsuit against his son Andy and his daughter Jan. The former NASA astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon accused his children and his longtime manager Christina Korp of taking control of his credit cards, using his money for their own gain, undermining his romantic relationships and slandering him by telling others he has dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The suit was filed in Florida state court and alleges fraud, conspiracy, and exploitation of the elderly.
The 88-year-old astronaut’s lawsuit illustrates the reason it's important for families to plan ahead for an aging parent. However, cases like Aldrin's can be hard, because it can be difficult to determine when someone has a deteriorating mental capacity.
Aldrin's children deny the claims in the lawsuit, which was filed just weeks after they petitioned for partial guardianship over their father.
An elderly person who doesn't think they need a guardian should contest it. If someone brings a guardianship case against an elderly person who believes he still has the capacity to make his own decisions, then that senior shouldn't be afraid to push back.
In Utah, any elderly person against whom a petition for guardianship has been filed with the court must be given an attorney to make certain their rights are being protected. If you have a plan in place regarding your choice of guardian, it can help.
It's critical to be prepared, so have your planning in place. Consider carefully who you want to take responsibility if you can't take care of business and document it properly.
Elder law attorneys suggest getting a third party to take guardianship if you have multiple children. This is because they frequently tend to fight over the parent's care.
Elder law attorneys offer services to help people get the documents needed to take care of guardianship and planning.
Reference: Good 4 Utah (July 3, 2018) “Buzz Aldrin lawsuit shows need to plan for aging parents”