Elderly parents are not only susceptible to being taken advantage of by a slick salesperson or a thief, but also by their own children. Recently, a son in Florida stole $25,600 from his parents by mortgaging their property and then withdrawing the funds from his mother’s bank account. Follow this link for more details on the story.
Because children are more likely to have relationships of trust and confidence with their elderly parents, it can be easy for them to take advantage of Mom and Dad. According to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study (1998) conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse, approximately 60% of substantiated Adult Protective Services (APS) cases of financial abuse involve an adult child.
Be on the lookout for signs of financial elder abuse in order to avoid the devastating consequences that may occur after an elderly parents’ financial resources have been depleted through theft from within. These seven signs may indicate financial elder abuse:
- Unexplained withdrawals of money
- Large unexpected withdrawals of money
- Unusual or expensive gifts given to unrelated people
- Checks signed by the elder when he or she was physically unable to write checks
- Unannounced changes in banks
- Unannounced changes in attorneys
- Unusual changes in existing estate plans that have been in place for a long time
If any of these signs are present, financial elder abuse may be occurring. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing suspicious transactions just because the suspicious activity involves a family member. Your suspicions should be reported immediately. Start by asking the elder about the transactions, or contact Adult Protective Services and ask them to conduct the investigation.
Learn more of the signs and what you can do about financial elder abuse. For help in cases of financial elder abuse please contact our offices to arrange a consultation.