A recent lawsuit filed in Florida was brought forward by an astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, who claims that his children have inaccurately accused him of having dementia and have made it impossible for him to manage his own financial affairs. Two of his children and his former business manager are being sued after he claims that they misused his credit cards and transferred money outside of an account without his permission.
The primary basis for the two children who brought their own legal case is that they allege he is suffering from delusions, paranoia, memory loss and confusion. They both requested that the court appoint them as legal guardians, claiming that the assets being spent by Aldrin were disappearing at an alarming rate and that he had been cohorting with new friends who are attempting to alienate him from his family members.
In this situation, the Florida courts put together an evaluation panel to determine the mental status of Aldrin. Although it remains to be seen how the Aldrin case will unfold, this is an important lesson for those people who are contemplating putting together their estate planning documents, since someone else may be allowed to request legal guardianship over your case by alleging that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. Being classified as mentally incapacitated could enable people you don’t want making decisions on your behalf to have all of the power relating to your finances or medical care.
This is why it is so important to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney to verify that you have the legal documents empowering the right people in the role of power of attorney and for your health care directives. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself.