As your parents get older, it’s time to think about their financial future. While your parent may be independent, there are many people who will take advantage of a trusting elderly person and exploit them for their money. Elder financial abuse takes on a number of forms. The best way to protect your parents is to have an honest discussion about the potential for elder financial abuse and ways that you will help prevent this from happening.
When One Parent Passes Away
If one parent dies, the other parent will be stressed and more susceptible to financial abuse. Stressed-out seniors will have trouble making sound decisions, and they will be ripe for people who are looking to trick them out of their money. If one parent passes away, it’s important to help the other parent get control of their finances. Trust is the key here, and you and your parent need to establish a trusting relationship when it comes to their finances.
There are a number of signs to look for when it comes to financial problems or exploitation in an elderly person. If you notice a high number of unopened bills piling up, or a new friend that seems too close to your parent rather quickly, there could be potential for financial abuse. Any caregivers who come into the home should be carefully screened, and this includes getting criminal record checks.
If you notice a large number of checks written out to cash, utilities have been shut off on occasion, or your parent has changed their will to include a new friend, these are signs that they are having money trouble and they could be at risk for abuse from a person willing to take advantage of their situation.
The best way for you to help your parent avoid financial abuse is to pay attention. With their permission, watch their credit reports for any unusual activity. Be open with your parent and let them know that you are there to protect their assets. If they want to change their will or power of attorney, it’s important to discuss these issues with an attorney.
To learn more about protecting a loved one from elder financial abuse, contact the Law Office of Garcia & Artigliere today at 1-800-281-8515.