Top 5 Ways to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

Savage Villoch Law, PLLC
14
Apr

elder financial abuseA recent New York Times article spotlights a renewed approach and increased legislative response to financial elder abuse. Featured in the article are personal accounts of real people whose family members and close friends have been affected by elder financial abuse.

Investment fraud and financial abuse directed towards seniors and the elderly has been a rising concern. We recently featured an issue focusing on the problem of increased elder financial abuse. Most elder abuse is perpetrated against those between the ages of 80-90, suffering from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Now, the issue is getting legislative attention. According to the Times article, 33 states have considered the issue of specific laws directed at financial abuse against the elderly. Other states are revisiting their existing laws.

With elder financial abuse coming to the forefront of financial regulation, we want the public to be aware of ways to prevent this crime. With the right tools and education, family members can help protect senior relatives against elder financial abuse.

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse
  • Be in the Know
    • Whether or not you are named as a trustee or account manager, it is important to talk to your senior relatives about their finances. Even casual discussion about investment plans or opportunities can go along way in informing your loved one about potential risks.
  • Understand Contracts and Statements
    • If your are managing your own financial records or you are a loved one managing for an elderly relative, make sure you completely read and understand all contract terms before signing any agreements.
  • Check Broker/Advisor Backgrounds
    • Know your or your loved one’s financial advisor or stock broker. Make sure they are trustworthy. You can check broker backgrounds on Investor.gov
  • Be Wary of Sweepstakes/No-Risk Scams
    • Offers through mail, email or over the phone promising over-the-top rewards or returns on investment with little to no risk should be avoided. If you are a trustee or account manager, make sure you speak with your loved one about these scams.
  • Review Financial Statements
    • Make sure you are not letting your financial statements go by without taking time to carefully review them. Look for any inconsistencies, erroneous charges or fees that can’t be accounted for.
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