Recent reports have found that elder financial abuse is on the rise and almost one million elderly people will be targeted this year. The elderly population in America is most vulnerable to financial abuse, scams, and investment fraud. Fifty-five percent of these cases involve family members or caregivers.
If you have an elderly family member or loved one, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the chances of him or her becoming victim to financial abuse, such as having more than one family member involved in their care and screening caregivers prior to their being hired.
While financial abuse may be difficult to notice, here are some signs that a person has become a victim:
- Disappearance of jewelry or other valuables
- Large money withdrawals
- Checks made out to cash
- Unusually low bank balances
- High grocery bills
- Purchase of Gift Cards
- Missing credit card reward points
- Large credit card transactions
- Check signatures do not match
- New joint bank account or name added to an existing account
- Elderly person isolating themselves from others
- Fear of caregiver or family member
If an elderly person is being financially abused:
- File a police report and contact Adult Protective Services (APS) in your borough or county.
- If a power of attorney is being misused, contact the Surrogate’s court or an experienced elder law attorney.
- Contact the National Center on Elder Abuse
Planning for the future needs of an elderly loved one can help mitigate the risk of financial abuse. An experienced New York estate planning lawyer can give you the legal guidance necessary to help plan for your future. From the simple to complex, the attorneys at Blodnick, Fazio & Associates are skilled in all aspects of elder law and estate planning and dedicated to representing their clients with diligence and compassion. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New York estate planning lawyers at (516) 280-7105.