FYI: How Financial Elder Abuse Looks Like
Every year, 5 million seniors in the United States are abused financially. In the country alone, financial exploitation or abuse is the most common kind of mistreatment of older individuals. The abuse is commonly done by a member of the victim’s own family, a caregiver, or a friend or acquaintance.
The elderly who are financially exploited are defrauded out of their security, money, and dignity. Because of the financial, emotional, and mental strains of financial elder abuse, the effects can have severe and lifelong consequences for the victim and their family.
Fortunately, we can be wary of such situations. There are very clear warning indications that an elderly person is being financially exploited, so you may help a loved one who is in this situation as soon as possible.
Read on to discover what financial elder abuse looks like, and how to watch out for it as soon as possible.
The Past-Due Bills
When bills and other personal commitments that the victim was once responsible for are neglected, this is the most visible sign of financial abuse of an aged person. Unpaid invoices could be a sign of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, forgetfulness, or something more serious. Payment changes or delinquent bill collections may indicate abuse.
The Withdrawn Behavior
There is a possibility that your loved one is being financially abused if they do not trust you or your immediate relatives and friends. Seniors who are abused frequently experience feelings of humiliation and embarrassment, which causes them to withdraw from family and friends. If you have cause to believe that your older loved one is being mistreated, keep an eye out for behavioral changes.
Household responsibilities are frequently handled by family members or paid caregivers for the elderly. People who abuse their power may enter into contracts through forgeries in order to make money or take money from a senior.
If you suspect that you or your senior loved one is being financially exploited, compare the signatures and dates on signed documents, checkbooks, and other financial records. Concerns may be reinforced by edited, rewritten, or copied signatures, as well as by unfamiliar handwriting.
The Sudden Financial Modifications
Be on the lookout for financial surprises. A loved one’s bank balance fluctuation could be an indication that their money or property is being plundered.
When there are unusually high withdrawals from an account, a large number of checks written for suspicious things, credit card charges for unusual expenditures or for the use of another person, and consistent transfers of funds to unfamiliar accounts, a red flag should be raised. Examine your loved one’s bank accounts for any signs that their money is being misused.
The Renaming of Legal Documents
Finally, keep an eye out for name changes on legal documents. Look for name changes on legal papers such as social security cards, bank statements, credit cards, investment accounts, home deeds, powers of attorney, trusts, and wills.
A change of name on any of these documents may indicate that there is a vulture waiting to deplete your loved one’s assets. Checking legal documents may also help you and your family assess if any financial resources are being misused; and, if necessary, take immediate action.
Abuse of the elderly is criminal and, depending on the circumstances, might result in legal or probate actions. If you feel that an older member of your family or a friend has been a victim of financial exploitation, seek legal counsel immediately.
Are you looking for top lawyers in Phoenix? Bossie, Reilly, & Oh is a professional legal team that can handle cases related to senior neglect and abuse. With us, your loved ones are safe and protected. Contact us today!