105 by chrstphr


									          Elder Financial Abuse
                                                               What is “Undue Influence”?                               Warning Signs of Financial
One in eleven persons living in San Bernardino                                                                                                                                   Making the Elder Less of a Target
County is 65 or older. Our elders and dependent          When a person in a position of trust takes
adults are being abused at an alarming rate. What        advantage of a vulnerable elder to gain control of                                                                          Assessing Elder Lifestyle Risks:
can be done? In this brochure, you will learn:           their money, property, or their life - either directly,                 Financial Activity
                                                         or through a POA, a trust, marriage, adoption, or
                                                                                                                                                                             •    Does the elder live alone?
•   The warning signs of financial abuse                 inheritance.
                                                                                                                   •   Activity inconsistent with elder’s ability, such as   •    Does the elder still drive? If so, they may be
•   How to report abuse when discovered                                                                                ATM use by a physically impaired person                    prone to crashes, or to being victimized by
•   What you can do to prevent the elderly or            How     is    Undue      Influence                        •   Numerous new withdrawals, usually in round                 driving-related scams (see next section).
    dependent adults in your life from becoming
    victims of financial abuse
                                                         Accomplished by Abusers?                                      numbers ($50, $100, $1,000, $5,000, etc.)             •    Does the elder spend a lot of time on foot, in
                                                                                                                   •   Increased activity on credit cards                         public places? If so, they may be targeted by
                                                         •   By isolating the elder from contact with other        •   Withdrawals made from savings or CD’s in                   exploiters who search for elderly victims at
There are now special laws targeting those who steal
                                                             family members, friends, and society                      spite of penalty assessments                               banks, stores, parks, malls, libraries, etc.
from or financially exploit elderly or dependent
                                                         •   By controlling the elder’s mail, phone calls,         •   Change in account beneficiaries                       •    How many local friends does the elder have?
adults. Abusers may face jail and civil action.
                                                             visitors, and outings                                 •   New authorized signers on accounts                    •    Does the elder have information about housing
                                                         •   By falsely promising the elder to take care of        •   Elder is confused about recent financial                   options, care choices, and support groups?
      What is “Financial Abuse”?                             them for the rest of their life                           arrangements                                          •    Have the elder’s outside activities decreased
                                                         •   By falsely worrying the elder with the fear that      •   Change in property title, quitclaim deed, or new           over the past few years?
It’s using the elder’s money or assets contrary to the                                                                 or refinanced mortgage                                •    Does the elder have family members in the
                                                             they will lose their house and be placed in a
elder’s wishes, needs, or best interests - or for the                                                                                                                             area? Is there weekly contact?
                                                             nursing home
abuser’s personal gain.
For example:
                                                         •   By lying to the elder that no one else cares                      Inheritance & Wills                           •    Is the elder overly friendly and helpful - even to
                                                             about them except the abuser                                                                                         total strangers?
                                                         •   By manipulating or withholding the elder’s            •   Recent change in Power of Attorney or Durable         •    Who regularly checks the status of the elder’s
•   Taking money or other items from the elder’s                                                                                                                                  bank accounts, charge or credit accounts, or
                                                             food or medication so they become weak and                Power of Attorney
    home or bank accounts                                                                                                                                                         investments?
                                                             compliant                                             •   Recent change in Will or Trust, when elder is
•   Selling or transferring the elder’s property                                                                                                                             •
                                                         •   By threatening the elder with harm, neglect, or           clearly incapable                                          Where and from whom is the elder getting
    against their wishes or best interests                                                                                                                                        financial and medical advice?
                                                             abandonment if they don’t agree to do what            •   Recent change in Will or Trust to favor a new
•   Failing to provide agreed upon services to the                                                                                                                           •    Who oversees the elder’s Power of Attorney?
                                                             they are told                                             or much younger “friend”
    elder, such as care giving, home or vehicle
                                                                                                                                                                             •    Does the elder seek advice of fortunetellers,
    repair, or financial management
                                                                 Who Might Be An Abuser                                                                                           psychic advisors, or spiritual healers?
•   Using the elder’s credit cards for unauthorized                                                                        Caregiver Warning Signs                           •    Does the elder know when and how to call the
                                                         •   Family members                                                                                                       police for emergencies - and for non-
•   Using the elder’s name or good credit to open                                                                                                                                 emergencies, such as suspicious persons?
    new credit accounts                                  •   Caretakers - paid or volunteer                        •   Is the elder now reluctant to discuss matters
•   Misusing the elder’s Power of Attorney (POA)         •   Strangers - met in public, or over the phone, or          that were once routine?
•   Refusing to return borrowed money or                     those who come to the door                            •   Does the elder seem apprehensive of the outside
    property as agreed upon, or when requested by        •   Professionals hired by the elder - accountants,           world - more tired or depressed?                             Be Careful with Caregivers:
    the elder or their agent                                 bankers, lawyers, doctors                             •   Does the caregiver say the elder is less willing or
•   Creating or changing living trusts for the           •   Is there a new person involved in the elder’s             able to accept visits or calls?                       •    Caregiver hired from reputable agency?
    benefit of the abuser                                    life, with no logical reason for being there, such    •   Does the caregiver seem overly concerned about        •    Caregiver references checked?
•   Changing the elder’s will, trusts, or inheritance        as a new boyfriend or girlfriend much younger             the elder’s finances?                                 •    Criminal background check done?
    for the abuser’s benefit                                 than the elder?                                       •   Does the caregiver often speak for the elder,         •    Elder’s checks, credit cards, etc. locked up?
                                                         •   Has the elder recently changed their doctor,              even when the elder is present?                       •    Written service agreement, signed by the
                                                             lawyer, accountant, or other professional?            •   Does the caregiver have no means of support                caregiver & elder, specifying duties and pay?
                                                                                                                       other than the elder’s income?                        •    Log of workers, hours, and salary payments?
•   Weekly review of caregiver expenses?

To top