September 15, 2020 6 minute to read ∙ 1400 words

It’s Complicated: The Relationship Between Advance Planning, Guardianship, and Elder Abuse

By David M. Godfrey

Reprinted with permission from Voice of Experience, August 2020. ©2020 by the American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

The relationship between advance planning, guardianship, and elder abuse is complicated. Experience tells us that careful advance planning can avoid the need for most guardianships. But many people fail to plan, and plans sometimes fail. Guardianship is sometimes the only legal tool to intervene in cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Guardians sometimes commit abuse, neglect, or exploitation. You can’t touch any of these issues without thinking about the others.

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