3 Ways to Protect Against Elder Financial Abuse

Security

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6.5.24

3 Ways to Protect Against Elder Financial Abuse


Elder financial abuse is a serious issue that can have devastating effects on seniors. Here are three ways to protect against elder financial abuse:

  1. Education and Awareness
    • Educate Seniors: Teach elderly individuals about common financial scams and warning signs of fraud. 
    • Family Involvement: Encourage open communication within families about financial matters. Family members should be aware of any sudden changes in an elder's financial situation.
    • Professional Advice: Consult financial advisors or elder law attorneys who can provide guidance on safeguarding assets and recognizing potential abuse.
  2. Legal Protections and Safeguards
    • Power of Attorney: Establish a durable power of attorney (POA) to designate a trusted person to make financial decisions if the elder becomes incapacitated. This can prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing their finances.
    • Living Trusts: Set up living trusts that can control the elder’s assets and specify how they should be managed.
    • Legal Monitoring: Utilize legal tools like conservatorships or guardianships where a court-appointed individual manages the elder’s finances under court supervision.
  3. Monitoring and Regular Check-Ins
    • Financial Monitoring: Regularly review bank statements, credit card bills, and other financial documents. Look for unusual transactions or withdrawals that could indicate fraud. Use free credit score tools for credit monitoring and to receive alerts for new inquiries or changes.
    • Technology Solutions: Use financial management software or services that offer alerts for suspicious activities. Some banks offer account monitoring services tailored for elder customers.
    • Trusted Contacts: Designate a trusted family member or friend to receive duplicate bank statements and alerts, ensuring another set of eyes on the elder’s finances.

Implementing these strategies can significantly reduce the risk of elder financial abuse and help protect the financial well-being of seniors.

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