By Estate Planning Attorney Rick Law. Rick Law and his daughter Attorney Diana Law are part of the multi-generational firm of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law in Aurora, IL – guardianship, elder law, and estate planning attorneys serving Kane, DuPage, Kendall, Will and other Counties in Illinois.
Most senior citizens are probably very trusting of police officers, especially their neighborhood beat cop. Unfortunately, this trust is not always warranted.
Jerry was a lifelong bachelor. He worked for the city for 30 years and was able to retire with a modest pension. He had lived a frugal life and had paid off his house and accumulated modest savings, which he kept in certificates of deposit.
Jerry turned 80 and became afflicted with dementia. He started becoming confused and disoriented. One day, Jerry mistakenly entered a neighbor’s home believing it was his home, and refused to leave. Not knowing what to do, the neighbor called the police. A beat officer responded to the call and took Jerry home.
Shortly after, the police officer began taking advantage of Jerry’s dementia to enrich himself. The officer had Jerry sign documents designating the officer as the primary beneficiary of Jerry’s retirement death benefit. He also had Jerry name him as the beneficiary of Jerry’s certificates of deposit.
Next, the officer had Jerry execute trust documents naming the officer as beneficiary, under which he would receive Jerry’s entire trust estate, both real estate and personal property. He even had Jerry execute a pour-over will, leaving all of his real and personal property to the trust.
Jerry’s nephew came to town to visit his uncle and some friends and take in a baseball game. When the nephew visited Jerry, the police officer was in the home, which made the nephew suspicious. The nephew began to investigate and learned what had happened to his uncle’s estate. The nephew contacted the Public Guardian. After an investigation, the Public Guardian petitioned the probate court to become Jerry’s guardian.
The petition was granted, and the Public Guardian sued the police officer to invalidate the above transactions. After a long and testy trial, the judge invalidated all of the transactions.
The judge also awarded Jerry $50,000 in punitive damages.
If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for the past 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!