In our last post we discussed the importance of making plans for the end of your life — both death itself and the years leading up to it. As we grow elderly, we become much more vulnerable. Our bodies don’t work as well and we may have a difficult time keeping track of personal and business affairs. Choosing a trustworthy power of attorney, conservator or estate administrator can provide some extra peace of mind as the ability to make complex health care or estate decisions gradually diminishes.

Michigan residents — particularly those mature enough to easily recognize actor Mickey Rooney — might be interested to know that the 92-year-old actor recently had a change of conservatorship. His attorney will now oversee his affairs following allegations that the former child actor was subjected to elder abuse by his stepson and the man’s wife.

Attorneys for Rooney said that the investigation into the abuse claims is continuing. Rooney has accused his stepson, who is the biological son of his current wife, of verbally and financially abusing him, taking control of his finances and leaving him with no access to his income. Rooney’s attorneys are attempting to hold the man and his wife liable for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of Rooney’s name and likeness. They’re also accused of withholding food and medication from the nonagenarian.

Now that one of Rooney’s attorneys has become his new conservator, the hope is that the lawyer will represent Rooney’s best interests over personal financial gain. This is the universal goal of a conservator, trustee or fiduciary put in charge of another person’s estate and/or well-being. Michigan residents don’t need to have amassed a fortune in order to need this type of advocate, or to name someone who they can trust to handle their affairs. They simply need to appoint someone they trust is up for the job. And in cases like Rooney’s, where the first choice turns out not to be the best, having a backup choice may prove beneficial.

Source: Daily News, “Mickey Rooney’s home to be sold for $1.3M to West Hills firm,” Bill Hetherman, March 4, 2013