When we speak to clients who have elderly parents, grandparents, or friends, one of their biggest concerns is that their loved ones will be taken advantage of through financial abuse. Financial abuse is incredibly common among elder individuals, and the most important thing that others can do is closely monitor how and when their loved ones’ money is being spent. If friends and family keep a watchful eye, this can greatly reduce the odds that their loved ones will be subject to financial abuse from other less trusted individuals in their lives.
It is important to know what to look for when monitoring for possible financial elder abuse. An obvious red flag is a large or unexplained withdrawal or, even worse, a pattern of large or unexplained withdrawals. If your loved one’s bank account is fluctuating in a way that you know is not in alignment with their spending patterns, it is always better to investigate instead of leaving things to chance.
A rapid loss of money can also indicate possible financial elder abuse. Sometimes, we see elderly individuals who face unexplained taxes during tax season or a large number of complaints on FINRA’s broker check site. If your loved one has a broker who is difficult to contact or who has been exhibiting evasive behavior, this is also a sign to look into how that person’s money is being handled.