Illinois’ Elder Abuse Task Force will submit recommendations to reform the state’s elder protection laws in 2021. One major area of concern is the abuse of a power of attorney to exploit elderly adults by isolating them from their family to gain control and access to their assets. In 2018, Illinois passed Public Act 100-0850, the Frail Elder Family Visitation Protection Act, so family members can get court-ordered visitation rights if a family caregiver unreasonably prevents family members from visiting a frail elderly individual. The new law protecting visitation rights for elderly adults took effect on January 1, 2019.
Rep. Mike Murphy (R-Springfield) proposed HB 4698 on February 6, 2020, to close a loophole in Public Act 100-0850 by removing its exemption for those with a power of attorney (POA). The bill will delete language which states that the Act does not apply if the family caregiver is acting as the elderly person’s agent under a power of attorney, or on behalf of someone with a POA.
Sadly, some elderly adults need to be protected from family members with ulterior motives. Elder law protects the rights and legal issues that people encounter as they age. If you are the guardian or caregiver of a loved elderly adult, you cannot arbitrarily deny visitation privileges to family members, even if you have a good reason. If you deny visitation to family member your actions can be reviewed by a court, and you must be able to prove you have a good reason to deny visitation rights.
The Frail Elder Family Visitation Protection Act protects both the caregiver and the elderly adult from abuse and inappropriate conduct. An experienced elder law attorney can help caregivers and aging adults put protections in place to safeguard the visitation rights of elderly adults as well as their assets and other rights.
An experienced Lombard elder law attorney can explain visitation rights for elderly adults and advise on the best estate planning options for older adults. For more information about how an elder law attorney can help you, contact Estate & Probate Legal Group in Chicago Illinois today at 630.800.0112.