Why even astronauts need a Power of Attorney
Buzz Aldrin is most famous for being the second man to walk on the moon, but recently he’s made headlines for suing two of his children and a former business manager. Aldrin accused them of misusing his credit cards, transferring money from an account, and slandering him by saying he had dementia.
The lawsuit began because his children commenced a guardianship application against him in Florida, claiming that Aldrin was suffering from memory loss, delusions, paranoia, and confusion. They also alleged that he was associating with new friends and spending money at an alarming rate. Florida Today reported that he was spending $70,000 per month.
This is an interesting case because Aldrin also underwent his own evaluation conducted by a geriatric psychiatrist who said that Aldrin scored “superior to normal” for his age. Obviously, he wanted to prove to his children that he did have sufficient capacity to manage his own finances.
A judge will have to determine whether or not Aldrin is cognitively capable of managing his own finances. When seniors are adjudicated incapacitated, the court appoints a guardian to manage their affairs.
How can this situation be avoided?
Proper planning for the future can help avoid these situations. A General Durable Power of Attorney allows you to name an Agent to make financial decisions for you in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. Depending on your individual circumstances, there are several different options available in these type of documents that you should discuss with your attorney.
A General Durable Power of Attorney may not prevent disputes like the kind the Aldrin family is in now, but it certainly demonstrates intention and wishes. They also allow people to clearly outline who should handle their finances and under what circumstances.
Having important estate planning documents like a Power of Attorney, Advanced Directive and Last Will and Testament can help you go to the moon and back. Call (856) 642-6445 to speak with our estate planning department.