Marrying Seniors for Their Money – A Growing Form of Elder Abuse

Nursing Home Blog

While May-December romances give people pause, there are instances when it’s the real deal. Unfortunately, it’s also becoming a growing trend that younger people marry older spouses, particularly wealthy ones, with the express intent of getting their hands on the money. This form of financial elder abuse is becoming far more common in recent years.

These types of marriages are often difficult to identify, as the instances of abuse are rarely reported. In some cases, the marriage occurred during the onset of dementia. In others, the elderly spouse is unwilling or unable to verbalize what’s really going on. We have no idea how widespread the occurrences of elder abuse involving marriage really are.

We do know that the laws we have to protect the elderly from abuse are not designed to address the problem of financial abuse by a spouse. Current marriage policies simply do not encompass this.

When elderly adults are of sound mind and have been deemed capable of making their own financial decisions, you can’t tell them they can’t spend their money as they see fit. This is the case even if it’s obvious that someone else is driving the decisions about how, where, and on whom the money is spent.

One interesting discovery is that elderly men and women seem to be equal targets for financial abuse by a spouse, according to Healthline. Although women are more likely than men to be targets of insurance scams, credit card misuse, and consumer fraud, men and women are targeted evenly for “sweetheart scams.”
It can be difficult for children of the elderly person to watch – especially if they feel certain that their parent is being abused. You don’t have to wait until bad things begin to happen before trying to help an aging parent, friend, or family member. Consult with elder abuse lawyers as soon as suspicions arise to discuss the available options and protections.

The attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere are here to help you get answers to your elder abuse questions. We’ll work with you to create a solution that will protect your parent or loved one from financial ruin, the loss of a home, or bankruptcy at the hands of a financially abusive spouse. Call today at 1(800)281-8515.