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Life Changing Alzheimer’s Or Dementia Diagnosis? 3 Ways Guardianships Can Bring Stability to Your Family

February 07, 2019

By: Melody Lynch

An Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is scary and can leave a patient and their family with more questions than answers. Legal guardianships can provide asset protection, stability, and comfort in uncertain times. While less restrictive alternatives to guardianship may exist in some circumstances, guardianships are a legal vehicle which provides oversight and structure to families in crisis. Guardianships bring order to families by appointing a guardian to manage the affairs of the person affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia – known as the ward.

Guardianships address three primary issues:

  1. A guardianship of the person permits a guardian to advocate for a ward’s physical needs and to participate in medical decisions, social decisions, and other decisions concerning the person such as where the ward should reside long-term.
  2. A guardianship of the property alleviates the stress and pressure of financial management by giving a guardian the control to manage and invest the ward’s assets to provide for their care, maintenance, and long-term support.
  3. Guardianships of the person, property, or plenary (both) provide assurance to the family that the ward will be taken care of and their assets will be preserved for their current and future care. While guardianships cannot change the medical diagnosis, they can provide peace and comfort so that the family can focus on the ward when they need it most.

Melody

Melody Lynch is a litigator and founding member of the firm’s Privacy, Cybersecurity and eDiscovery Group. Lynch focuses her legal practice on complex business litigation, banking litigation, probate & trust litigation, guardianship, intellectual property litigationlabor & employment litigation, family law and step-parent adoption. She has worked on matters involving a wide variety of business disputes, employment contracts, non-competition agreements, non-disclosure agreements and trade secrets. Her estate litigation practice focuses on matters involving wills, trusts, or guardianships.

A frequent author and lecturer on the topics of employment law, eDiscovery, workplace privacy, and technology, Melody assists clients in preparing document retention and destruction policies. She has litigated complex cases involving voluminous amounts of electronically stored information (ESI), designing review platforms and managing document preservation, collection, and production efforts through settlement or trial.

The court room isn’t the only stage on which Melody has appeared. Before pursuing her career in law, Melody attended college on a ballet scholarship and danced with a professional ballet company as an apprentice dancer. Lynch received her bachelor’s degree from Butler University, is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law and holds an M.B.A from Stetson University. She often calls on her educational background, augmented by experience, to counsel clients on complex business and employment matters. She has represented clients in the health care, environmental, hospitality, and banking industries, among others.

Additionally, Lynch is heavily involved in the Central Florida community and has been awarded with the Presidential Leadership Award by the Orange County Bar Association. Additionally she was named "40 under 40" by the Orlando Business Journal. She holds positions on boards of several organizations, which are all included below. She is a Guardian ad Litem for the Legal Aid Society where she represents the interests of abused and neglected children. She is a pro bono attorney for Seniors First where she represents the interests of indigent elderly wards. 

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