Several years ago, while working as a domestic violence prosecutor, I was assigned a case which would change the course of my career. I had handled literally hundreds of DV cases, but this one was unusual - at the time. The victim was 90, and the perpetrator was her son. What made the case even worse was that the victim was completely disabled by Alzheimer's Disease. Her son had not only struck her in the face, he also had drained all her money.
We prosecuted the son for assault, but when I asked my supervisor about adding a theft charge, he declined. A jury wouldn't understand a son stealing from her mother, he thought. A jury could understand someone who used a gun to steal, but they wouldn't understand someone who used a power of attorney to steal. (I am happy to report that this thinking has changed! Clark County now has an Elder Justice Center and regularly prosecutes those who financially abuse their elders.)
One day, while the case was pending, I got a call from a woman who said she was a Guardian ad Litem for this lady. It was this Guardian ad Litem, a court-appointed investigator in the guardianship case, who first educated me about how guardianships could protect the helpless.
I opened my own practice in 2004 and have steadily built my guardianship and elder law practice ever since. I love working with the people who really care about elders - all you caregivers, facilities, and professionals who stand up for the vulnerable. I love working with children who truly have their seniors' best interest at heart.
This is a great time to practice elder law. If you have questions about guardianship, I would be happy to help if I can. If I can't help, I will try to refer you to someone who can. I welcome your calls.
View Rachel's résumé .