Elder relatives are often vulnerable to abuse due to reduced physical or mental capacity. So naturally, we want to keep them safe and honor their wishes as loved family members. But unfortunately, some individuals would stop at nothing to abuse the trust or compromised decision-making that often comes with diminished mental faculties.
Recognizing that an elder relative is suffering abuse is sometimes difficult. For example, the individual may no longer possess the communication skills necessary to tell you. Or they could feel ashamed or frightened about the situation. Nevertheless, as a friend or family member, it is important to recognize the signs of elder abuse so that you can take appropriate steps to intervene.
The most obvious potential sign of elder abuse is unexplained injuries. If your loved one has bruises or more serious injuries, take notice. This is often the first sign of coercive abuse, which involves an abuser using physical or psychological attacks to control the elder.
In most cases, coercive abuse of elders is designed to gain access to money or other assets. One way of achieving this goal is compelling the targeted individual to change a will or similar legal document. The result is an elderly relative suffering trauma so that a criminal individual or individuals can gain access to valuable assets.
Missing Finances & Assets
If you notice that money or other assets are missing from your elder relative’s home or estate, it may indicate abuse. Thieves typically start small by stealing monetary amounts or items that will go unnoticed. However, with time, such schemes may grow in scope as the guilty party begins to feel untouchable.
There is a very real chance that such unscrupulous individuals will begin to aim higher. For example, estate assets are often more valuable once an individual has passed away. By forging, changing, or otherwise manipulating the desired outcome of a will, criminals can change the wishes of your loved ones.
If you are concerned about elder abuse in Atlanta, Georgia, reach out to Turner Law for an estate planning consultation today.
Posted on behalf of Turner Law, LLC