When an adult is unable to look after their finances due to dementia or other health reasons, a trustee or conservator is often chosen to manage their money and assets on their behalf.
Aging adults often establish trusts for this reason, giving control of their finances over to someone who should act in their best interest.
What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse of elders or the incapacitated happens when someone in control of a person’s finances uses that control to deprive someone of their money. This can occur through fraud, theft, misuse of credit or even using undue influence to pressure or threaten someone to gain more control. People with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are at a greater risk of falling victim to this type of abuse because they may not realize or understand that it is happening.
What are some signs that a trustee is abusing their power?
If you suspect that a trustee is taking advantage of you or a loved one, there are many red flags to look for, including:
- Refusal to show you receipts or bank statements
- Checks written to the trustee
- Large bank transfers
- Missing property or assets
- Shrinking savings account balance
Suppose the trustee changes their personal spending habits and begins purchasing expensive items, property or travel. In that case, it may be a sign that they are using the money for their own benefit.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise in the U.S., and the instances of financial abuse are on the rise with them. Be on the lookout for signs of these ailments in your loved ones and help them choose a trustworthy person to help them manage their money.