Recognizing When Elderly Parent’s Finances Are Being Abused

By Mark Westin posted 10-20-2020 11:55 PM

  

Abuse of the elderly in any form is abhorrent. Regrettably, some people see vulnerable members of society as soft targets to enrich themselves or worse - to cause harm. Children of elderly parents should be on a constant lookout to recognize signs of abuse to protect their loved ones. 

Taking action to prevent abuse, reporting this to the authorities is one way in which children can limit harm to their parents. Here are some ways to recognize whether your parents are safe from financial abuse.

Understanding exploitation and abuse of the elderly

Elderly people are prone to being confused or tired. This makes them vulnerable to being exploited by dishonest, greedy individuals who have often been tasked with taking care of their needs. 

When children are busy with their own lives, it can be quite challenging to take care of their parent’s finances, but this is a responsibility that must be taken seriously. 

Exploitation can take place through various means, including theft, forgery, physical abuse, and manipulation. Recognizing the signs of when elderly parents are being threatened in any way is vital to their protection.

Medical care

Caregivers should be thoroughly vetted to ensure that they can be relied on to take care of vulnerable, elderly people. Children should also take steps to ensure their parents are medically protected by taking out one of the Medicare Advantage Plans available for their well-being. 

While doing so, children can contact Russell Noga to get advice regarding the best plans available for elderly parents or to speak to him about legal matters for their protection. 

Medical insurance is vital to their quality of life, especially if they rely on someone else to look after their needs. Choosing the right type of cover is equally important to cater to additional healthcare needs for the elderly. Likewise, legal advice related to the protection of all assets is vital to their financial health.

Check financial records

Children should stay on top of their parent’s finances if they are unable to do so for themselves. Maintaining records of checks written, payments received, bills paid, and all other financial activity is a sure way to pick up on irregularities. It is best to obtain legal guardianship or a Power of Attorney so that responsible children can prevent financial abuse and exploitation. 

Only when children have access to financial records, can they keep track of transactions and take steps to prevent abuse from occurring. Preferably, children should discuss the way forward to who will be responsible for their parent’s financial well-being to avoid too many people from accessing parent’s funds.

Implementing security measures

Because older children and specifically male children are often implicated in elderly people’s financial abuse, children should put security measures in place to limit abuse. Either a separate guardian or an attorney should be appointed to manage financial affairs. 

Also, all financial transactions should require duplicate signature approvals or additional access security measures to protect assets. Property, wills, and checkbooks must all be tied down tightly to limit the potential for fraud and theft. Ideally, parents should put measures in place to protect themselves while they are still in sound mind.

Inventories

Take inventories of all precious home items. Locate and store all important legal documents such as testaments, insurance policies, title deeds, vehicle ownership records and the like. If anything goes missing under the care of family members or caregivers, the authorities will know who to question first. 

Also, if fraudulent financial transactions are suspected, the authorities will also know whose access to elderly parents should be limited or ended for their protection. Caregivers and children are typically the main origins of financial abuse, so it is always best to take extra measures to avoid financial abuse of the elderly.

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