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Florida woman shut out of husband's care

A Florida woman has suffered a crushing legal blow after being ousted from a guardianship agreement for her elderly husband. Not only is the woman prohibited from visiting her husband without permission. The older man's guardian and attorneys are also siphoning legal fees from his estate.

The couple's difficulties began in 2010, when they experienced a severe argument that caused the man to seek out a guardian and personal attorney. His dementia had progressed to an uncontrollable point shortly before the argument. Even though the woman fully intended to care for her husband of 30 years throughout his progressively worsening health conditions, she has now been effectively removed from the man's life. In addition, the recent court decision could rapidly diminish the woman's claim to her husband's estate, a situation that seems patently unfair to many.

Many people may be under the misconception that establishing guardianship of an elderly relative is simple. In fact, this is an arduous process that has the ever-present potential to fail. This problem is a symptom of a system that was designed to protect those who suffer from mental disorders and may be incapable of making their own choices. It appears, however, that those suffering from dementia are still incredibly vulnerable to fraud and other misfortunes, even though they attempt to safeguard their assets and wishes through legal moves. Many family members are stunned when an unrelated guardian is put in control of their relatives' care because of poor planning.

Experts say that if your case has reached the guardianship stage, your estate planning was probably inadequate. To prevent this from happening to you and your loved ones, create a proper estate plan with the help of a qualified probate attorney. These professionals can help you draft documents that will put you in control of your future care, regardless of your mental state. Do not allow your relatives to be shut out of your life at such a critical juncture. Instead, seek the assistance of a qualified attorney.

Source:  tbo.com, "Wife not allowed to care for wealthy husband" No author given, Jul. 27, 2013