As the San Diego estate planning attorney knows, financial abuse of the elderly by caretakers or new friends is common. If you hire a caretaker through an agency, that agency will have performed background checks. If you hire a caretaker privately, be sure to run a background check including criminal and credit checks.
Once, you hire a caretaker or a new friend enters your elderly loved one’s life, be sure to stay alert to these warning signs:
Financial abuse warning signs:
- Caregiver abuse. Because of the care giving relationship, the elderly often become very trusting of the caregiver. If money or personal items go missing, it may be the result of financial abuse.
Keep on the lookout for physical or mental abuse as well. Typical signs include broken bones, unexplained bruising, emergency room visits, dehydration, malnutrition, emotional withdrawal, rocking, and outbursts of anger.
- Unexplained estate planning changes. One client proposed to three caregivers. The first two came forward and told the adult son about the proposal. The third, said nothing, and told the client that she’d marry him if he changed his will to benefit her. To get the client away from this predatory caregiver, the son moved his father to go live with his sibling 3000 miles away.
If your elderly loved one wants to change his or her estate plan, find out why. If the reasoning or the changes don’t make sense, investigate. Our San Diego estate planning attorney helps people just like you.
- Unexplained bank account activity. Beware of unexplained withdrawals or a change in account ownership. Check monthly statements and credit card statements.
- Suspicious mail or telephone calls? Check telephone records and mail. The elderly are often targeted via phone and mail for scams.
- New friends. Are there new friends, financial advisors, or ministers in your elderly loved one’s life? Be aware that often these people are con artists targeting the elderly.
It is in your loved one’s best interest for you to be on alert for financial abuse. If you suspect abuse, get help immediately. Don’t hesitate. Need help with your elderly loved one’s estate planning? Call our San Diego estate planning attorney office at 858-792-5988 for a consultation.