In June, Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, filed a lawsuit against his son Andy, his daughter Jan, and his longtime manager Christina Korp. He alleges they have taken control of his credit cards, used his money for their own gain, undermined his romantic relationships, and slandered him by telling others that he has dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The suit was filed in response to Andy and Jan’s attempt to get a Florida state court to appoint them as their father’s co-guardians.
This is a sad situation to see one of our national heroes in, but it is not unusual. Many families have disagreements over guardianships. This has given guardianships, which are often quite helpful, a bad reputation and inspired many a family legal feud.
What is a Guardianship?
A guardianship is a court-supervised and court-authorized action that takes the legal rights of one person and gives them to another. They can be quite useful if a loved one is suddenly incapacitated and has not executed a power of attorney document. However, things get contentious when the person being put under guardianship does not think they belong there, or when family members disagree about the actions a guardian is taking on behalf of a loved one.
It is unfortunate when such disputes spill into the courts and family matters become public record, but it is also a good thing that courts have oversight over guardianships. Elder abuse is far more common than most people realize, and the courts provide a check on abusers.
Our firm frequently helps families deal with the legal issues that arise as we age. We help people get guardianships, fight guardianships, and avoid guardianships all together by planning ahead and drafting power of attorney documents.
Watching our heroes and loved ones grow old is one of the worst things about aging. It’s tough to be on the observing end of that equation, and it’s a thousand times worse when you realize that someone who looked up to you now feels like you are the one losing your grip. We have dealt with these sorts of painful scenarios ourselves, and worked with hundreds of clients confronting this situation. We are here to help if you need a guide to lead you through a dispute over guardianship.