Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maryland

I am the sole survivor of my 103 year old dad. he has recently developed an unusually close attachment to one of his care givers of the past 4 years. Since his wife died 1 month ago he is suddenly asking me questions about changing his will. The aide has verbalized she would like him to marry her so she can get his social security. His estate is in Maryland.

Is their any legal protection against this aide influencing him this way?

Asked on 8/18/17, 11:41 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC

Generally speaking, people are free to give away their property to whomever they wish, whether such choices be wise or foolish. The law does offer some protections for "undue influence" in cases of extreme manipulation but the law does not intervene just because someone decides to give their property away to a new friend, companion, etc.

That being said, where a caregiver is operating as a licensed CNA (certified nursing assistant) or otherwise caregiving through an agency there may be both guidelines and/or contractual restrictions on a paid caregiver receiving gifts. One might raise concerns if such policies are violated. On a more general note, age alone does not render someone incompetent but if someone is no longer competent to manage their own affairs and at least 2 doctors attest to same a concerned family member might be able to seek guardianship over their person or property. People are generally presumed competent unless established otherwise.

While I hope the very general information helps, it does not attempt to offer legal advice specific to your situation. Specific facts may change how the law applies and the laws themselves change with time and jurisdiction.

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Answered on 9/12/17, 4:19 pm

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