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Financial abuse and/or exploitation occurs when someone illegally or improperly uses your money or property for their own benefit. This type of exploitation can be committed by anyone who has access to your financial information and usually is committed by someone you know, such as a family member, close friend, caretaker or a complete stranger.
Some predictors of nonprofessional potential abusers are: people with drug or alcohol issues; people with gambling problems; people with untreated mental health issues; and people who are financially dependent on you.
Professional potential abusers can take on many faces that have been discussed in others sections of our website and in our blog. Generally, elder adults have to try and sift through professional fraudsters and unscrupulous financial advisors, insurance agents, certified public accountants, attorneys and other professionals who talk a good game but have placed their financial interest over yours.
A modified type of elder exploitation that appears to be on the rise is the overreaching by certain family members to control the targeted elder parent so that, for example, one son or daughter inherits all or a majority of his or hers surviving parent’s estate to the exclusion of the other family member(s). This can be accomplished in any number of ways such as obtaining a general power of attorney by only one family member, which allows for the transfer of assets without the parent’s knowledge, having real and personal property retitled with only one relative’s name on the bank account or deed with the parent or getting the parent to rewrite his or her will leaving all estate assets to only one relative.
Everyone is potentially the target of financial exploitation and everyone should be cautious with their financial matters, especially older adults. You might be particularly at risk if: You depend on others for meeting many personal needs; you recently lost a spouse or loved-one who handled your finances,; family or friends regularly handle your finances; you feel isolated from society; you have difficulty understanding finances; and/or you live in a long-term care setting.
If you have any questions concerning issues of elder financial abuse and/or exploitation, it is always better to safe rather than sorry. It is always better to cut the thieves off at the pass as opposed to the heartache and expense of attempting to right the wrong.Contact Us
With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.