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Preventing Elder Financial Abuse: Tips for Protecting Seniors’ Assets

Elder financial abuse is a severe problem. Illegal use of an elder’s property, funds, and resources is prevalent and has been worsening. Financial exploitation can take any form, such as scams, forged signatures, and physical abuse by family members or friends. 

Financial abuse involves threats to one’s well-being and life; therefore, it is consulted by an elder law attorney in Ontario, CA. Read on to learn more about elder financial abuse and how to prevent it.

Common types of elder financial abuses

Some common types of elder financial fraud committed by individuals include:

  • Theft of Cash: Money in the form of cash is either stolen or withdrawn from their accounts without their permission.
  • Cashing Checks Without Permission: Cashing cheques or stealing without authorization.
  • Credit Card Theft: Making unnecessary purchases through the credit cards of elders.
  • Property Transfer Forcefully: Forcing elders for property transfer without involving other family persons.
  • Power of Attorney Misuse: Individuals or families may misuse elders’ power of attorney.
  • Identity Theft: The accuser may use the elder’s credit card history to obtain credit and loans.
  • Investment Scam: This may lead to loss of high investment due to forged signs and business deals.

Who is involved in elder financial abuse?

Elder financial abuse is committed mainly by someone close to them.

  • Friends, family members, and associates who are close to the elders.
  • Caretaker may consign financial abuse to stealing money from the victim
  • Neighbors may also commit elder abuse if they know the person is weak.
  • Dishonest attorneys or financial advisors can also commit elder financial abuse.

Steps to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

Financial abuse can cause emotional damage to elders. They may experience severe depression as a result of financial exploitation. Financial abuse detection is usually difficult because trusted family members and caregivers are involved. 

Considering all aspects, here are a few tips that can help prevent elder financial abuse:

  • Check warning signs such as sudden joint account opening, suspicious signature, new credit card with your name, and more. 
  • Protect personal documents such as credit cards, bank documents, and financial records. 
  • Cross-check background before hiring a caregiver or household helper
  • Sign up for a legal or professional accountant who checks your accounts statements.
  • Choose a trusted legal partner to handle power of attorney.
  • Consult with trusted attorneys or legal advisors to prevent further financial damage. The legal advisors help protect you from physical and financial abuse by taking appropriate legal actions.