Most California residents think of elder abuse as physical abuse or neglect that occurs in nursing homes. However, financial abuse of an elderly person can also happen. It’s important to recognize the signs of this abuse at the hands of your loved one’s guardian or conservator.
What is financial elder abuse?
Financial elder abuse is unfortunately pervasive. There are different ways the abuser can steal money and different people can be the abusers. Sometimes, the person might steal cash from the victim. Other times, they might take a debit or credit card without permission to spend on themselves. Sometimes, the victim is tricked through fraud such as the perpetrator fooling them into naming them in their will as the beneficiary.
Unfortunately, even individuals the victim heavily relies on and trusts can become the perpetrators of financial elder abuse. It’s common for family members and guardians to be guilty of this offense.
What are the signs of financial elder abuse by a guardian?
If you suspect that your elderly loved one has fallen victim to financial elder abuse by their guardian, it’s important to spot the signs of the crime. They include the following:
- Sudden, unexplained withdrawals of large amounts of cash from the person’s bank account.
- The guardian’s name suddenly also appears as an authorized user on a bank card.
- Sudden changes to the person’s will and other estate planning documents.
- Money or valuables have suddenly vanished without explanation.
- Regular bills going unpaid for a period of time.
- Forged signatures on financial transactions or titles.
- Assets have suddenly been transferred to the guardian’s name without explanation.
- Bills for services that are unnecessary for the individual.
- The person reports financial abuse by the guardian.
One or more of these signs being present warrants investigating. If your loved one has suffered financial elder abuse, you might want to get help.