Estate planning attorneys advise people who want to realize their legacy goals, but end-of-life matters are important, as well. There are a number of different pressing issues that are being addressed at the present time, and elder financial abuse is near the top of the list.
This is a challenge that is a source of great concern within the elder law community. It is difficult to evaluate the full extent of the losses because a significant percentage of elder financial abuse cases are never reported. This is largely due to the fact that the perpetrator is often someone that the victim knows personally. In many instances, victims don’t report the abuse because they are afraid of losing the care that the abusers are providing.
In addition to the fear factor, the victim may not want to turn in the perpetrator because the abuser is a relative. The victim does not want to get the family member in trouble with the authorities.
There are also cases that go unreported because the victims simply do not know that they are being financially abused. When you willingly give someone else access to your home and your personal property, the theft may not be noticeable.
There are cases when someone who is known to the victim perpetrates the abuse, but elder financial abuse can take many different forms. For example, there are swindlers and con artists out there, and they often target elders. There are door-to-door scams, and con artists also contact seniors over the phone. Loneliness can be a problem for many elders, and lonely seniors often welcome interactions. The attention that is given can be comforting, but in the end, it can be quite damaging.
Now that we are all on the Internet, another window of opportunity for unscrupulous types is wide open. Identity theft has been in the news quite a bit over recent years and seniors are often targeted. Elders have good credit in most cases, and many of them own their own homes outright, so they are magnets for identity thieves.
Elder financial abuse is a very disturbing problem, but there are steps that you can take to protect yourself. If you would like to discuss the matter with a licensed professional, our firm would be glad to sit down with you and explain all of the facts.
We provide each and every one of our clients with personalized attention, and we can help you craft a comprehensive plan for aging that simultaneously addresses your legacy goals. If you would like to attend one of our free Living Trust Seminars, register through the following link: Fort Myers FL Estate Planning Attorneys.