Recognizing signs of financial elder abuse

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2021 | Financial Elder Abuse

Many elderly California residents have individuals who handle their finances for them. Many times older individuals have difficulties dealing with the public in general, and many are actually incapable of handling their own financial affairs.

This creates a real potential problem, as it allows unscrupulous characters an opportunity to mismanage financial affairs with very few prying eyes seeing. This situation can be tempting even for those who are not criminally minded, but mismanagement of funds for another individual is indeed against the law. And there are a few signs that may indicate this is happening.

Minimal bank accounts

Many people hold their savings in a separate account from their actual checking account. Checking account balances being low are not necessarily a sign of abuse, but dwindling savings may be a sure sign.

It is important for all individuals who have a fiduciary responsibility to a primary elder to be able to account for where all money came from and where it goes, and also why it was spent. Any discrepancies can be signs of financial elder abuse by a conservator or a trustee.

Identity theft

Many elderly individuals have also built a history of good credit that can be tempting for those who lack that status. Access to personal information such as a Social Security number can entice some individuals to use the information in establishing accounts with telemarketers and the like for goods and services under the primary elder account holders identity. Being left footing a bill or being held liable in other forms can be a sure sign of elder abuse in many instances.

These are just a couple of issues that many elders face with their finances when having other people handling their personal affairs. All California residents should be on the lookout when financial abuse may be happening to their loved ones.