Is your parent or another loved one residing in a nursing home or an assisted living facility? If this is the case, you should always be alert for signs of physical elder abuse or nursing facility negligence. You should also be mindful of the danger of financial misappropriation.
According to accumulated data, the number of cases of financial exploitation against elderly individuals is anticipated to increase significantly over the next two decades.
It is estimated that scams, fraud, and exploitation cost older individuals more than $36 billion each year. Even more alarming is the fact that more than half of that money is taken through the use of methods that are technically legal.
Who Commits Elder Financial Abuse?
The widespread nature of elder abuse is alarming, and sadly, the abuse is frequently perpetrated by someone close to the victim. According to one study, relatives, friends, or other trusted individuals commit two-thirds of financial crimes against the elderly. Elder financial exploitation can be committed by anybody, including:
- Members of the family
- Acquaintances and friends
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Providers of health care
Why Are Elders Prone to Financial Exploitation?
About 70 percent of all funds placed in financial institutions are held by people that are 65 and over. They simply have resources that can be targeted, and seniors typically have good credit.
It has been suggested that elderly individuals are more trusting than their younger counterparts, and loneliness can be a contributing factor.
When you have lost your spouse and other family members and friends, you may experience social isolation. Under these circumstances, you may be much more willing to speak with strangers, and some of them have nefarious aims. We will address the subject in more detail in an upcoming post.
Seniors are more likely to have diseases or disabilities that leave them vulnerable to financial exploitation, such as cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Older adults may also have a reduced ability to evaluate proposed courses of action rationally.
As a result, elders are particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation, including the theft of a wide range of assets.
Types of Elderly Financial Abuse
Advocates for the elderly frequently outline common cases of financial abuse in their efforts to combat it. The following are some examples of financial abuse in a household environment by people who are well known to the older adult:
- Abusing or using money or property without permission or knowledge
- Falsifying or coercing an elder’s signature
- Misusing a bank account’s dual signature authority
- Using ATMs or credit cards without permission
- Unauthorized cashing of a senior’s check (misappropriating funds from a pension)
- Using fraud, pressure, or undue influence to get an older adult to sign a deed, will, contract, or power of attorney
- Persuading an older adult with cognitive impairment to revise a will or insurance policy so that the beneficiaries of the will or policy are changed
- Using a power of attorney for reasons other than those for which it was signed, particularly a durable power of attorney
- Using a conservatorship, trust, or other authority in an improper manner
- Mismanaging funds in a careless way, such as by a fiduciary or caretaker
- Promising long-term or lifelong care in exchange for money or property and not following through on the promise
- Denying an elder person access to their cash or preventing them from controlling their assets
There are many ways that elders can be exploited, and we can help you take steps to mitigate your exposure.
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There are many things to think about it when you are preparing for the eventualities of aging. When you choose our firm, we will learn about your objectives, your financial position, and your family dynamic and make recommendations.
When the process is complete, you will go forward with a custom crafted plan that is ideal for you and your family. You can schedule a consultation at our estate planning office in Cincinnati if you call us at 513-721-1513.
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