Unfortunately, the most vulnerable in our society are often the ones targeted for abuse, especially the elderly. There are many different types of elder abuse that occur, from physical and emotional to financial coercion and exploitation.
One of the areas in which elders require assistance when they become disabled physically or cognitively is with their finances. They may need someone they can trust to pay bills, handle banking transactions or other financial matters. This reliance can be an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of elders that are relying on them for help. Elder financial exploitation occurs when a person uses their influence on the elderly to create financial gain for themselves. This can be in the form of:
- Taking possession of the elderly person’s assets
- Accessing bank accounts or using credit cards
- Coercion to become the elderly person’s Power of Attorney
- Coercion to change the elderly person’s will
Elder financial exploitation is often performed by someone close to the senior, a caretaker, relative or family “friend.” Knowing the warning signs of elder financial exploitation can help stop this reprehensible behavior and protect your loved ones.
Valuable Assets Are Missing
Loved ones should be concerned if they notice items missing around the home of the elderly. This could be jewelry, artwork, cash or other valuables. While it is common for elderly persons to “gift” items they no longer need to their loved ones, if these items are all going to the same person, it could be a warning sign of other financial exploitation.
Changes to Financial Accounts
If there are sudden changes to bank accounts or unusual spending, this can be an indicator of elder financial abuse. In some cases, the elderly may even have unpaid bills, utilities turned off or even receive threats of foreclosure.
Unexpected Changes to Legal Matters
If loved ones begin making changes to their Power of Attorney, will or guardianship that seem unusual, it may be time to investigate further. Family members should seek legal advice if unexpected legal changes are suddenly occurring that involve the elder’s finances.
At Turner Law, we have decades of combined experience handling complex elder law cases in Georgia. If you have noticed warning signs of elderly financial coercion with a family member, contact our office in Decatur, GA. We can offer legal advice and representation that could protect your loved one from financial exploitation.
Posted on behalf of Turner Law, LLC