Many families worry about a loved one who is in a nursing home or assisted living facility being harmed by physical abuse. It’s devastating to think of a beloved parent or older relative falling victim to malicious treatment.
Unfortunately, seniors can also be victims of financial misconduct. This can happen in nursing homes and assisted living centers, but it also happens in an elder’s own home, whether at the hands of a caregiver or even a relative. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, there will be about 98 million people age 65 and older in the country by 2060. This is one in every seven adults and double the number of seniors in 2013. Because the population is rapidly aging, it is important for families to know the signs of elder financial abuse.
Common Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse lists the following as common signs of elder financial abuse:
- Elder person does not understand his or her own finances
- Lack of documentation/missing documentation of accounts
- A caregiver or relative seems overly interested in the elder’s finances
- Forged signatures on bank documents
- Missing property or documents
- Standard of care for the elder is below his or her means
- Suspicious purchases or activity in the elder’s accounts, such as excessive purchases
- or purchases of items he or she would not ordinarily want or need
- The elder suddenly makes a new friend or seems unusually dependent on someone
- he or she just met or has only known for a short time
- Bank statements or other mail stops arriving at the elder’s home or residence
- Unpaid bills or overdue statements appear in the mail
- Eviction notices appear in the mail
- Unexplained withdrawals or transfer of funds
- The appearance of legal documents the elder does not seem to recognize
This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a place to start. If you have an older parent or loved one, the best way to prevent elder financial abuse is to talk to your parent or loved one regularly. If you live far away from your older loved one, try to make trips to see him or her as frequently as possible. You should also communicate regularly with any caregivers or family members who have frequent contact with the older adult.
California Estate Planning & Probate Lawyers
If you suspect an older loved one in your life has been the victim of financial misconduct or abuse, it’s important to get in touch with a California estate planning and probate lawyer as soon as possible. These are sensitive and complex cases that demand the skill of a compassionate, experienced attorney. Call Yee Law Group, PC, PC today at (916) 599-7297 to speak to a knowledgeable estate planning and probate lawyer about the next steps in your case.