Financial elder abuse is a serious problem that has to be addressed as soon as you see the red flags. This kind of abuse can drain an elderly person’s bank account and leave them financially destitute if it goes on for long enough. It can also result in their estate plan being altered, leaving family members without the inheritances that they were expecting.
There are many signs of financial elder abuse that you can look for to help protect your loved one. Here are five that stand out.
- Unusual charges to your loved one’s bank account
The first thing to look for are charges to your loved one’s bank account that don’t add up. For example, you might start seeing $100 increments being taken out at ATMs when your loved one should only be using a card to make payments. Look for unusual transactions, and track down the source.
- Needing to give them more pocket money than usual
If your elderly loved one is being taken advantage of, they may pay or tip their orderlies or caregivers. They might lend them money, too. If you notice that they’re asking for more cash or pocket money, look into where their money is going.
- Not being able to find valuables
Missing valuables could be a sign that your loved one is being stolen from. If their wedding ring has been replaced with a replica or you notice valuables aren’t in their room, then it’s time to take action.
- Unexplained property transfers
One major sign of financial abuse could be unexplained property transfers. Sudden transfers that weren’t expected by the family, or sudden sales to get more cash flow, could be a sign of abuse.
- Changes to the estate plan
Finally, keep track of your loved one’s estate plan. Sudden changes to their will or power of attorney should be fully investigated to make sure those changes are in your loved one’s best interests.
These are five signs of financial elder abuse that you should watch for. If you suspect abuse is taking place, it may be valuable to learn more about your legal options to stop it.