I have a client in her 80s with short-term memory problems. She was having trouble keeping up with her home, paying her bills, and getting groceries in the refrigerator. Her health was deteriorating quickly, and she needed serious intervention, but neither her extended family nor previously-named agents/trustees were available to help. I was very concerned about the potential for elder abuse.
A colleague recommended I look into the DVFA. This nonprofit organization is also known as the Diablo Valley Foundation for the Aging, with offices near Rossmoor in Walnut Creek.
Well, I have been very impressed. These caring and professional people keep a low profile, but when their services are needed, they become high-profile to the person in need. They certainly came to the rescue of my client, evaluating her situation, establishing a friendly relationship with her, arranging for bookkeeping and bill paying services, and working with her doctor. Her situation has already improved tremendously.
As they continue to monitor her health and her needs, they might arrange for a housekeeping service, Meals on Wheels, in-home care, and more as time goes by. If she becomes incapacitated, they can serve as trustee of her trust and/or agent under her Power of Attorney, eliminating the need for expensive conservatorship proceedings in Superior Court. Upon her death, they can administer her trust and distribute her assets the way she had planned all along. As her fiduciary, they must abide by the highest standard of care, and as a nonprofit, their fees are lower than private professional fiduciaries. They provide a broader range of services than a private fiduciary, too.
I am no longer as worried about my client’s financial situation and I have observed her health stabilizing since the DFVA got involved.
This organization accepts donations and volunteers from the community, and they have found a cheerleader in me.
Check out the DFVA’s website for more information: