Growing older does make us wiser, but even those of us with decades of life experience can fall victim to scams and abuse. Elder financial abuse happens when money or belongings are stolen from an older adult, and the results can have devastating consequences for the victim.
Elder financial abuse can include forging checks, taking someone else’s retirement, Social Security benefits, or using a person’s credit cards and bank accounts without their permission. Other scammers might even go as far as changing names on a will, bank account, life insurance policy, or title to a house without the victim giving their consent. Preventing and addressing financial elder abuse is a major concern.
Here are some of the warning signs of elder financial abuse:
- Sudden changes in bank accounts or banking practices, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the older adult.
- The inclusion of additional names on an older adult’s bank signature card.
- Unauthorized withdrawal of the older adult’s funds using their ATM card.
- Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents.
- Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions.
- Signs of substandard care or bills left unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources.
- Discovery of a forged signature for financial transactions or for the titles of the older adult’s possessions.
- Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to an older adult’s property or possessions.
- Unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family.
- Elderly family members showing unusual and sudden sadness, nervousness, or anxiety.
- Changes in spending patterns and socializing habits.
Here are some ways to help prevent elder financial abuse:
- Stay in touch with elderly family members and friends.
- Get to know your elderly family member’s neighbors, friends and caretakers.
- Monitor your elderly parent’s bank accounts.
- Get professional help from a CPA who specializes in elder financial care.
Do you have more questions about helping your senior parents manage their finances while still maintaining their independence?
At Marcia L. Campbell, CPA we act as trusted professional fiduciaries for many of our clients. As licensed professionals, we understand the importance of knowing that your trust, estate, or conservatorship is being managed legally, ethically, and accurately. We act as caring and objective fiduciaries and client advocates.
If you need help, please contact us by filling out our Contact Form or by giving our office a call at +1(951)686-3608.