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Long-term care planning can limit financial abuse of the elderly

Another reason for individuals residing in Texas or elsewhere to identify their trusted family members who will take care of their later needs is to avoid the possibility of elder abuse by strangers or relatives not trusted or favored. A study by MetLife's Mature Market Institute puts the cost of elderly financial abuse at $2.9 billion annually. Strong estate planning and long-term care planning programs made when the elderly person is lucid and rational will substantially prevent deceitful or fraudulent manipulations by interlopers.

The same report concluded that women are twice as likely as men to be victims, and that most victims were between 80 and 89, and living alone. Most of these needed help with their health care or the maintenance of their homes. The victims are generally found to be lonely and confused, with the tendency to be receptive to outsider help.

The problem is exacerbated if the individual has no trusted family members. Where such close relationships exist, however, it is imperative to get the legal papers authorizing their powers in place as early as possible. A strong and trusted representative of the elderly person's interests can be a vital factor in protecting the individual from swindlers and even relatives who want to get their names inappropriately placed on the title to the person's bank accounts and other assets.

That is why it is important to have financial and health care powers of attorney executed in Texas to the proper family members. Getting long-term care planning into place will generally provide great peace of mind and assurance the person will largely be protected from undue influences. That eliminates the problem of banks and investment agents having to identify who should be trusted in making decisions regarding accounts and assets of an elderly person. In many instances, these institutions will go along with name changes on accounts simply because some elderly persons do make such changes and the institution cannot tell whether it is legitimate or not.

Source: post-gazette.com, "Len Boselovic's Heard off the Street: The elderly are often easy targets of financial abuse", Len Boselovic, March 8, 2015

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