Making The Complex

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Elder law: Taking a senior’s car keys when driving is a danger

When a senior citizen is intent on continuing to drive, but there is every indication he or she could possibly cause an accident, taking away the car keys seems like the right thing to do. Yet doing so may be challenging legally. When it comes to elder law in Louisiana, the person who holds power of attorney may be able to confiscate the senior’s keys, but it’s a murky area legally speaking if anyone else takes that step.

There are other ways to try to convince a senior to give up driving a vehicle. A senior may be fearing a loss of independence and likely needs reassurance that not driving doesn’t mean he or she won’t be able to go to different places or get out much. Often all people need to hear is that they will have the support and help of their loved ones. There may be people other than family members a senior may listen to like a family doctor, an eye doctor or a lawyer.

But simply taking the car keys away from a senior might not only cause them angst and conflict, but may also be a gray area legally speaking. Those who do take the keys better have the proper documents indicating they’re able to do so, namely a power of attorney. Taking, selling, hiding or driving the car away may just make things even more complicated.

Elder law can be confusing. Knowing what can and can’t be done regarding a senior and his or her rights is something with which a Louisiana attorney may be able to help. It’s better to get the facts before acting rashly like taking a senior’s car keys without prior approval.


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