Welfare checks are not always popular with some families.
A police officer in New York was sued for checking on an elderly individual.
Lieutenant Joseph Buccilli of the Orchard Park Police Department was not invited into the home by the owners.
The home owners claim he violated their Fourth Amendment rights.
According a recent New York Law Journal article titled “Officer's Welfare-Check on Elderly Man Is Shielded by Immunity, Court Says,” the answer is no.
The judge found Buccilli had qualified immunity because he was acting in good faith.
Lieutenant Buccilli responded to a call to the local Adult Protective Services from the daughter-in-law of a senior.
She claimed that she and her husband had not been allowed to see the relative who had dementia in several weeks, even though they had a power of attorney.
Buccilli responded to the call from the Adult Protective Services and entered through a side door when he was refused entry into the home.
What did he find upon entering?
Buccilli found the senior to be doing well.
His caretaker—his daughter—was not happy.
She then filed the lawsuit.
In addition to getting your legal documents and powers of attorney in order, be sure to discuss them with your family to avoid a situation like this.
While you are at it, keep the lines of communication open in the family.
Secrecy breeds suspicion.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: New York Law Journal (April 3, 2017) “Officer's Welfare-Check on Elderly Man Is Shielded by Immunity, Court Says”