Most people here in Georgia recognize how important it is to create a will to ensure that their final wishes are honored. However, many are unaware that a will is just one part of a complete estate plan. Estate planning can include a living will, directives for end-of-life care and/or a power of attorney. It is important that people communicate with family members to ensure that their estate plan is handled by a trustworthy party, whether that person is a family member or a designated professional. This is what one family is dealing with after a man was sentenced to two years in jail for charges relating to elder abuse of their older family member.
Authorities say that the convicted man defrauded a senior citizen after he attempted to assist the victim with finding a long-term care facility to live in. The victim was undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 lymphoma and died almost a year ago. Two years prior to that, officials say that the man convinced the victim to sign the deed of his home over to him. They also allege that the man got the senior citizen to give him power of attorney, enabling the man to access the senior's finances.
The man was found guilty of felony fiscal elder abuse and felony filing false documents. He asserted that he wrote a check to the victim for $150,000, but the victim said that it was never received. The man is also required to pay the victim's family $50,000 in restitution.
Elder abuse is a terrible crime as victims sometimes do not have the cognitive ability to realize that anything is amiss. This case highlights the necessity of ensuring that a comprehensive estate plan is in place to help protect senior citizens from this type of risk. Any families here in Georgia who believe they or someone they love has been a victim of elder abuse may wish to reach out to an attorney to determine a course of action.