How to Protect Your Aging Parent from a Relative's Financial Abuse
Aging parents, especially those with dementia, rely on their children or other relatives to look out for their well-being. So it is shocking when relatives violate this sacred trust and take advantage of their aging family member for their own financial gain. Unfortunately, financial elder abuse is more common than many people realize.
How can you protect an elderly parent from a greedy and unscrupulous relative? The starting point is to be alert to anything that doesn’t seem right. These are some red flags that might be warning signs that your parent is being financially abused:
A Family Member Acts Suspiciously
A family member who tries to isolate your parent from you and other relatives can be a red flag. The family member may insist on being present when you visit your parent, or the family member may limit your visits or refuse to allow you to visit at all. Also, beware if the relative seems unusually reluctant to talk about your parent’s finances. Any of these may be signs that the relative is engaging in financial abuse and is trying to prevent you from finding out what is going on.
If sudden and unexpected changes are made to a parent’s will or other estate documents, that too can be a warning sign of financial abuse. Another potential red flag is if the family member suddenly moves your parent into their own home.
The Family Member Is Troubled
Additional red flags may be present if a family member has problems with drugs or alcohol, is in financial distress, or is financially dependent on your parent. By themselves, these potential red flags do not mean the family member is financially abusing your parent, but if combined with suspicious behavior, including those described above, be alert.
You Can Fight Financial Abuse
It can be hard to believe that a relative is violating your parent’s trust. However, it does happen, and you need to protect your parent. If you suspect a relative is being financially abusive, don’t wait until the situation gets even worse. Contact the elder abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 to find out what you can do and how we can help. We have extensive experience fighting elder abuse, and we are committed to helping ensure that every senior is treated with dignity and respect.