Fraud and other forms of financial abuse can deprive elderly loved ones of their assets and the money they worked hard over a lifetime to accumulate. It can also lead to feelings of shame and upset and can affect a senior’s ability to care for themselves in their golden years.What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse involves any coercive behaviors or fraudulent behaviors meant to separate a senior from their rightfully earned assets or money. Financial abuse can include:
- Forcing a senior to sign over assets
- Coercing a senior to sign a power of attorney
- Stealing and theft
- Coercing an elderly person to give generous gifts to a caregiver or staff member
- Forcing a senior to sign financial documents they do not understand
- Forging signatures on financial documents
- Pushing a senior to change their will or estate plans
- Coercing an elderly person to withdraw money from an ATM or to disclose passwords and PIN numbers to bank accounts
- Getting a senior to co-sign loans
- Getting an elderly person to put up collateral for a loan
- Gaining control of financial assets and money
Financial abuse is a problem because it can deprive an elderly nursing home resident of their independence. Once they have signed over assets and financial rights, a senior may not be able to make their own money choices to get access to their financials. Financial abuse can also deprive an elderly person of their assets and money, making it hard to enjoy essentials or a good quality of life. In severe cases, it can leave the senior homeless.How Can I Detect Financial Abuse When it Happens?
Financial abuse is difficult to detect. In many cases, abusers will claim that an elderly person willingly signed over their assets or made generous gifts. It can be difficult to detect whether a gift or asset exchange was voluntary or not. You may notice signs of financial abuse if you notice any of the following:
- A senior family member suddenly cannot afford necessities or previously-affordable purchases
- A senior family member suddenly living below their usual means
- A senior family member is suddenly concerned about money or is always anxious about it
- A caregiver or staff member suddenly has a lot of money or is spending more conspicuously
- Accounts or estate plans are changed without discussion with the family
- An elderly family member suddenly drops or changes financial advisors, banks, financial service providers, or attorneys
- A caregiver or staff is suddenly spending a lot of time with a family member and becomes a confidante
- An elderly family member starts acting ashamed or anxious or experiences other personality changes
These signs are not proof of abuse, but can indicate something is wrong.What Can I Do?
You may wish to speak to an elderly loved one about financial planning or have them speak with a reputable financial professional who can help them make financial choices for the future and protect their assets.
If you suspect that financial fraud is going on, contact a Hollywood nursing home abuse attorney, who can help you understand whether fraud is taking place and can help you understand what legal options you have to fight back. Contact Flaxman Law Group online or at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) to speak to a nursing home abuse attorney in Hollywood. Your first consultation is free and comes with no obligation.