Financial Abuse and the Elderly
As people get older, it’s not as easy as it once was to maintain personal accounts, assets and credit. All too often, elderly citizens get financially taken advantage of simply because they have not planned well or have put their trust in the wrong hands.
The senior abuse lawyers at Pope & Howard, P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia, are dedicated to helping those who have lost money, property or other assets achieve just compensation. If you or a loved one has experienced financial abuse, we will fight alongside you to make it right.
Defining Elder Financial Abuse
Financial abuse occurs when a person steals, mismanages or conceals an elderly person’s funds, property or other assets for personal gain. As people get older and less physical and mentally focused, they become more susceptible to mistreatment in various forms. Financial abuse includes theft, fraud, misuse of assets or credit and any other use of money that is not justified.
This abuse can be done by corporations who target older customers, or even carried out by family members who have been trusted with personal accounts.
Elder financial abuse can also involve the misguidance of financial assets. For example, the offspring of an elderly person convincing a parent to spend less on healthcare so they may inherit more money later. If you notice that an elderly person could afford much better medical treatment or assisted living than they are currently receiving, elder abuse could be the cause.
Signs of Financial Abuse in the Elderly
If you have a senior loved one, take care to look out for these signs of financial abuse:
- Changes to wills, powers of attorney, deeds or titles.
- Unpaid bills or late payments when funds should be sufficient to pay for said bills.
- Missing jewelry, cash, property or other items worth a lot of money.
- Unusual or unexplained withdrawals or transfers between bank accounts.
- Sudden changes in a senior citizen’s financial condition.
- The presence of a new person in the senior’s life with a great deal influence.
- Anxiety on the part of the senior citizen when discussing finances or financial security.
How to Prevent Financial Abuse in the Elderly
If you do not manage an elderly loved one’s account, but do have access to it, it may be a good idea to check in every so often to ensure that everything looks normal. Look out for large sum withdrawals, any uncommon purchases or unfamiliar names added to the account.
If you are somebody preparing your finances for later days, the earlier you get started, the better! While drawing up a will is not anyone’s perfect idea of a great Saturday afternoon, sitting down with a trusted lawyer or financial advisor to make sure you have a will on record will benefit you and your family in the long run.
Planning your financial future is one of the smartest things you can do to avoid elder financial abuse. Be sure to keep your personal account numbers, checkbooks and credit cards with you at all times, and be wary of giving out information over the phone. Begin building a relationship with a banker or financial advisor now if you don’t already have one. That way, this person will understand how you spend your money, and who you trust with it, if you start making rogue decisions down the road.
Contact the Top Elderly Abuse Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia
If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of elder financial abuse, Pope & Howard can help! We want to do everything in our power to empower Atlanta-area citizens to keep their finances under control at any age. If you’d like to set up a free consultation with us, simply fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 404-885-9999.