81-year-old Ray Moore worked hard to provide for his family, spending 40 years working at a steel mill.
Now, the Anderson County man needs his family to help provide for him.
“My dad has a form of dementia,” said his daughter, Kim Pritchard. “Some days he remembers everything. Then the next day he might think his mom is still alive.”
Through a series of unfortunate events, Ray lost his home, car and savings over the last few years. Now, he relies on his pension check from the mill.
But when he lost his home – he also lost those checks. His daughter says she’s tried to change his address to his care facility, but is being buried under a mountain of red tape.
“It’s very aggravating,” she said. “All I want to do is pay my dad’s bill. That’s all I want to do.”
She said the company won’t let her change his financial information because she isn't designated as his power of attorney.
After a months-long battle, the family contacted 10Listens for help. 10News took their issue to attorney Tom Ramsey III, who specializes in estate planning law.
He said this is a common problem.
“As baby boomers get older, their brains aren’t keeping up with their fiscal nature,” he said. “It’s going to be a problem for a long, long time.”
Ramsey said the fix at this point requires a trip to court. The family needs to get a conservatorship, where a judge essentially transfers Ray’s rights to a caretaker, likely one of his children.
But he said the family could have saved themselves a lot of headaches by planning ahead, and appointing someone with power of attorney in a living will.
“Power of attorney literally takes five minutes to do,” Ramsey said. “A conservatorship, you’re looking at a month, and several thousand dollars. And, another lawyer gets involved because someone has to be appointed to protect that person’s rights.”
He recommends everyone have a similar document in place, making it clear who can make their financial or medical decisions if they’re unable.
Pritchard said she’s just happy to have a solution in sight.
“I feel like I can sleep at night,” she said.