Signs of Financial Elder Abuse
Recognizing financial abuse is just as important as recognizing physical abuse and neglect. Those individuals that see the elderly as easy victims for scams should be held accountable for their actions just like those who physically and mentally abuse/neglect seniors in our community. The first step to prevention of anything is recognition. Thus, it is important to be aware of the signs of financial abuse so it can be stopped before it spirals out of control. The following list repressents just some of the signs that can point to the existence of financial elder abuse.
- Unusually large withdrawals from the bank or from ATMs when the elder is incapable of making it to the bank
- Significant loans against equity in real property
- Signed legal documents by the elder when the elder cannot hold a pen
- Checks written to "cash"
- Checks signed by the elder, but filled in by another person
- Caretakers receiving unusually large gifts from the senior
- Unusually large contributions to newly formed religious of non-profit groups
- A sudden surge of investment in timeshares, property, or other financial products
- A sudden flurry of activity in once dormant accounts
- A change in established legal documents:
- The emergence of a power of attorney when the elder does not have the mental capacity to give power of attorney
- The drafting of a new will or the modification of an existing will when the elder lacks the mental capacity to make the changes
- The name of the caretaker being added to a will
- Seniors suddenly not able to afford things that they have always been able to buy
- Missing money, jewelry, and other personal items
- The responsible party's refusal to spend money on necessary care for the elder
- Caretaker's inappropriate interest in an elder's finances
These are just some of the signs to look for when you suspect financial elder abuse. Just like with any form of elder abuse, you should trust your instincts. If something does not seem right, or if there are discrepancies in the elder's financial affairs and you suspect abuse, it is best to report it to the proper authorities.
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced financial elder abuse attorney, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or click here to submit your inquiry online.