Before discussing any type of safety planning for financial elder abuse, we must first make everyone aware of what is meant by "financial elder abuse", and how prevalent elder abuse is in the United States. Only then can we begin to explore any type of safety planning to try to prevent this despicable occurrence from affecting our older community members.
What is financial elder abuse? That is the first category that we will explore. Following that, we'll look at an overview of safety planning, and how we can protect ourselves and others against financial abuse. Finally, we will offer some of the best representation for those requiring legal assistance following financial elder abuse.
What Is Financial Elder Abuse?
The elderly, in general, are considered particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. This is when a person misuses or simply takes an older adult’s assets. More often than not, this is done without the senior person even being aware of it, and certainly without their approval. These assets are necessary for the elderly to sustain themselves, so it is a particularly heinous act.
How Prevalent Is Elderly Abuse?
As it applies to people 60 years of age or older, some type of elderly abuse has occurred to one in every 10 individuals in the United States. It is thought that roughly 5 million elderly individuals are abused every year. To make matters even worse, only approximately one in every 14 elderly abuse cases are actually reported.
Though financial abuse is only one type, there are many kinds of elderly mistreatment occurring today.
An Overview of a Safety Plan
All too often, our elderly residents are in danger of being scammed, manipulated, etc. – particularly where financial matters are concerned. This can happen through the efforts of a friend, relative, or even a stranger. To manage potentially dangerous situations, a safety plan should be in place in advance. Be aware of available prevention methods.
How to Prevent Financial Elder Abuse
First and foremost (to prevent financial elder abuse), to monitor brokerage and bank account activity, a "trusted contact" should be put in place. That’s step one!
There are services for which the elderly can sign up that will look at an individual's financial activity. Should anything unusual be detected, this contracted person will notify a representative of the individual (their trusted contact) as to any curious spending or withdrawals.
Here are other ways to prevent financial elder abuse:
- If you don't understand a document, do not sign up for anything that it pertains to.
- With your parent’s caregiver (or other elderly individual), develop a relationship. If they know you're paying attention, they'll be less likely to exploit the person financially.
- So that no check-cashing needs to be done, direct deposit should be used whenever possible.
- Through emails, visits, or regular phone calls, stay connected to elderly loved ones.
- Make sure that healthcare directives and a power of attorney is designated by an individual while they are still mentally sharp.
About Weltz Law And Financial Elder Abuse
Weltz Law is a securities law firm. Weltz Law has represented numerous clients nationwide in all aspects of commercial and securities litigation. For instance, we represent broker misconduct and fraud victims in FINRA arbitration and securities litigation matters.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of financial elder abuse, do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable and experienced representatives at Weltz Law.
On our website, you can review individual case results to see what we have achieved for others. Though our focus is mainly on FINRA arbitration against dealers/brokers, feel free to contact us should you wish to speak to one of our representatives about something else.