It is unfortunate that adult children with an elderly parent may isolate that parent from their siblings. For the sibling who is being kept away from his or her parent, there is likely to be a lot of frustration and fear about their parent’s health and well-being. There could be times when a child who is being kept away from their parent may want to intervene so that they can gain control over a parent who needs assistance, especially if it appears there may be something suspicious going on. Isolation of a parent should not be ignored, and a New York guardianship attorney can help work with you to step in for an ailing loved one.
Isolation of an elderly loved one could be a sign of abuse, including financial, emotional or physical abuse. For those adult children who are given access to that parent, they may wonder what they should do so that they can step in, in case there is abuse going on.
If you suspect physical abuse, consider contacting the police or Adult Protective Services.
One potential option is to petition for guardianship so that access to the parent can be forced on a sibling trying to isolate that parent. Additionally, a person who becomes guardian can gain some control over access to a parent, meaning that, if evidence of some sort of abuse is discovered, the potential abuser can be separated from a parent in order to end the abuse.
Under New York law, the amount of control that a guardian has over their ward is meant to take into account what a ward’s abilities are, rather than simply taking all power away. This means that there could be a small amount of power, such as paying bills, or more power, such as controlling where an elderly person lives, who they associate with or how doctors should proceed with health care.
If a child suspects one of their siblings is keeping a parent isolated from them in order to hide abuse, it would be possible to take control of the parent through guardianship. If a sibling had control over the parent with a power of attorney or health care proxy, either signed before incapacitation or under more suspicious circumstances, a guardian may be able to get void those powers so that the isolating child would no longer have legal power.
A New York guardianship attorney is the best one to help you when you are determining whether or not you want to petition for guardianship over your parent. Your attorney can let you know how much power you should ask for and what steps you can take over a parent who is being isolated by your siblings. Call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233, New York estate, guardianship, wills, trust, Medicaid and probate lawyer, and make an appointment to discuss.