Don't Be A Victim: Protect Yourself And Those You Love From Financial Abuse

What is financial elder abuse? It is the misuse of an older person’s property or financial resources without their consent or understanding.

Who commits this abuse? The abuser can be anyone—a family member, a caregiver, a financial advisor or lawyer, a friend or even a complete stranger.

How can I tell if my mother/loved one is being financially abused? Because financial abuse does not involve any physical abuse, you have to look for different signs and signals:

  • Has she taken a large amount out of her bank or other cash accounts?
  • Has she made numerous withdrawals of smaller amounts—say, $100 at a time?
  • Has she written a large check to someone you do not know?
  • Has she changed her power of attorney or the beneficiaries on her insurance or investment accounts?
  • Has she bounced checks or are bills going unpaid when there should be enough money in her account to cover what she needs?
  • Has she made unusual or unnecessary purchases—new golf clubs or a diamond bracelet?
  • Has she agreed to have unnecessary home repairs—new siding put on the house or the driveway repaved?
  • Has she become close with a much younger person or inappropriate person?
  • Has her caregiver become interested in her finances?

 

How can I protect myself and my loved ones from financial abuse?

  • Get Your Financial House in Order
    • Do you have a will?
    • Do you have beneficiaries assigned for your insurance?
    • Do you have beneficiaries assigned for your pension and retirement savings accounts?


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