Family Law

Elderly Parent Legal Rights

As you age, you might worry about who will handle your estate if you no longer have the mental capabilities to handle it yourself. This happens with many people all over the world and there is no shame in assigning power of attorney to a friend or family member. Contrary to popular belief, however, your next of kin is not legally entitled to take over your finances unless you assign power of attorney to a particular individual. If you do not want your children to delegate your care or finances in the future, you have the right to prevent them from doing so.

Power of Attorney

Before anyone can deal with your finances; he or she must have power of attorney, which is a document which gives him or her right. This is important because the legal system does not grant this power automatically. If your children do not have this document, they are not able to delegate your care or finances without help from the courts. Many children wrongly believe that handling your care and finances is both their right and their responsibility, but this is not the case.

Court of Protection

When it becomes clear that an elderly person is no longer to deal with his or her finances, a caregiver can apply to the Court of Protection. Going through this court is much more expensive than gaining power of attorney beforehand, but it is the only legal option once it reaches this stage. The Court of Protection will look at the situation objectively and decide what to do with the elderly person’s care and assets.


The purpose of the Court of Protection is to make a decision on the elderly person’s finances if he or she is unable to handle them. The court begins by deciding if the individual has the mental capacity to handle his or her finances. If the court rules that the elderly person can still take care of him or herself, the children have no right to handle his or her finances. This court is in place to protect an elderly person’s assets by preventing children from illegally taking this money.

The Court of Protection also has the ability to make decisions in the best interest of the elderly person. Therefore, if you have not granted your children with the right to handle your finances and they have no legal right to this money, all of the decisions will be made by the courts. The courts can then delegate money for your medical care and do everything that someone with power of attorney would normally handle.

Putting Someone Else in Charge

In some situations, the Court of Protection might put someone else in charge of the elderly person’s estate. That person, however, must act in the best interest of the elderly person and if these duties are not met, the court can remove the deputies from the case. The court can appoint a family member, friend or attorney to handle these duties, depending on the situation.

Your Rights

If you are aware of your children trying to handle your finances without your permission, you have a few different options. Many people will immediately go through an attorney, as this attorney can take this matter to court. It is very important that you know your rights in this situation, as your children do not have the right to handle your finances just because they are your children. You have the right to handle your own care until the courts decide that you are no longer capable of doing so.