Elder financial abuse, by definition, is when an individual takes money or other assets away from an older person without permission. Unfortunately, when older people begin to exhibit signs of memory loss or decreased mental functioning, this kind of abuse is more likely to occur. Thus, as your loved ones get older, it is prudent that you look after their finances and make sure no one untrustworthy has access to (or the possibility of exploiting) their financial information.
Examples of Elder Abuse
The specifics of elder abuse can vary from case to case, and there is no one thing in particular that indicates an older person is being taken advantage of. One thing to look out for, however, is an elder person’s caretaker taking possession of their credit cards. It is easy for these cards to go unmonitored and thus for a caretaker to use the money for expenses not related to their job.
Another possible indication of financial elder abuse can be with someone takes control of an elder’s power of attorney. If, for example, a lawyer, manager, or advisor abuses her or his position, this can be a form of exploitation. It is important to keep a close eye on who has power of attorney over the older people in your life to make sure this position is not taken lightly.
Thirdly, financial abuse can occur simply when someone steals an elder person’s belongings. It is not unheard of for staff at a nursing home to take a resident’s things, and it is crucial that family members keep an eye on these belongings to make sure they are all in place.
How to Spot Financial Abuse
If an older person in your life is experiencing mood changes or confusion about their finances, it is best to check in and figure out if any possible financial abuse is taking place. If there have been sudden, unexplained withdrawals, transfers of money, or unpaid bills, these can also be warning signs. It is also important to look out for new acquaintances in an older person’s life that needs help paying their own bills, just to monitor the situation and make sure your loved one is protected.
The most important thing you can do for the older people in your life is look out for them. Make sure they are surrounded by people that you both trust. Ensure their assets are protected, and if you have any doubts whatsoever, talk with a credible attorney that can help you figure out if something suspicious is going on.
For Issues with Elder Abuse, Call McCulloch & Miller, PLLC Today
At McCulloch & Miller, PLLC, we can answer questions about elder abuse and the specifics of your situation. We have a long history of working with clients to make sure they are being treated fairly, and we take pride in diligently advocating for our clients’ rights. For a confidential consultation with a Houston elder abuse attorney, call McCulloch & Miller, PLLC today at 713-597-7176. You can also contact us by filling out our online form.