The Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

In the event that you have an elderly loved one who is showing some signs of limited capacity and you are concerned about the management of his or her financial affairs, it may be time to talk with your elderly loved one as well as his or her estate planning attorney about the next steps that should be taken.

Unfortunately, a broad range of individuals who may be interacting with your elderly loved one may be motivated to engage in elder financial abuse, which includes a broad spectrum of conduct such as promising lifelong care in exchange for property or money and then not following through on the promise, using an older person’s possessions or property without permission, forging an older individual’s signature, taking property or money directly, or getting an older person to sign a power of attorney, deed or will under undue influence, deception or coercion.

Some of the indicators that your loved one may already be a victim of elder financial abuse include:

  •       New and unexpected friends
  •       Legal documents that the family member did not understand at the time that he or she signed them
  •       Missing property or belongings
  •       Cancelled checks and bank statements no longer coming to the elder’s home
  •       Transfers between bank accounts or withdrawals from bank accounts that your loved one cannot explain
  •       Eviction notices, unpaid bills or notices to discontinue utilities
  •       Suspicious signatures on documents or checks
  •       Absence of appropriate documentation about financial arrangements

Learn more about protecting yourself and your loved ones as you get older by forming a relationship with a trusted estate planning attorney.