Recognizing signs of financial elder abuse

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2019 | Financial Elder Abuse

It’s important to take care of the people we care about, family members and friends. When people in California get older, they don’t always have the same capabilities to care for themselves as when they were younger. That is why it is important to be aware of our loved one’s health and their abilities to care for themselves when they start getting older. If you are concerned a loved one could be suffering from financial elder abuse, read on.

Financial abuse of an elder is exactly what is sounds like, the illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s assets. Several aspects of a person’s financial assets could be manipulated without the elder’s consent or knowledge. Bank accounts, estate plans, identify theft and phone or email scams could all be involved in financial elder abuse. Here are some signs to look out for if you suspect your loved one is suffering from financial elder abuse.

One red flag indicating financial elder abuse is if your loved one is spending a lot of time with a new person. Another red flag is if you have noticed suspicious signatures on documents. In addition, if your loved one is confused or withdrawn, he or she may be suffering from financial elder abuse. Sadly, it is usually a known friend or family member who often takes advantage of an elder. Family members with dishonorable intentions can gain access to an elder’s financial accounts and assets due to the trust the elder has for that family member or friend.

It isn’t for another to decide what happens with an elder’ finances, unless they have been granted power of attorney or something similar. However, even those with power of attorney can overstep their boundaries. This could happen if the assets and financial decisions were appropriated for personal financial gain or without regard to the elder’s best interests.