Financial Abuse of the Elderly

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Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Financial abuse of the elderly is becoming increasingly prevalent as the U.S. population grows older.

Abuse of this nature usually involves individuals scamming or taking advantage of the elderly in order to steal the elder’s property or financial assets. The culprit of these crimes is often someone the elderly person trusts, such as a friend, relative, or caregiver.

Types of Financial Abuse

A typical financial scam involves an elderly person being tricked to hand over their life’s savings. Scams used for this purpose may involve fake charities, investments, or home repairs.

Undue influence is often an used by the abuser to compel the elder to change their will or otherwise grant assets to the abuser.

Signs of Financial Abuse

Some of the signs of financial abuse include:

Prevention of Financial Abuse

To minimize the risk of financial abuse, you can place limits on the power of attorney and the powers held by the agent under the power of attorney. One way to reduce the agent’s power is to compel the agent to submit an annual accounting to an attorney or financial planner.

It is also helpful to have many people, including family members and financial professionals, participate in the decision-making process concerning the older person. Measures should be taken to lessen isolation of the elderly person, who may be more susceptible to fraudulent people if few or no friends and family members are in contact.

Consult an Attorney

If you or someone you know has been the victim of elder financial abuse, consult an elder law attorney who can advise you as to what course of action to take.

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Last Modified: 05-27-2015 11:24 AM PDT

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