The financial exploitation of elders is a shameful and growing problem in our society. What’s tragic is that it is often at the hands of trusted family members, neighbors, advisors and caregivers, making it easier to get away with.
In an interview with The NY Times, Gary Altman, discusses the keys to protecting yourself or a loved one from becoming a victim of a financial scheme.
“These financial ruses can be called pre-grave robbing,” says Altman. “The will may be changed at the last moment or power of attorney used to take someone’s assets.”
Once a person is beginning to become mentally or physically unable to handle their finances and self-care, they are clearly more vulnerable to deception. The key to protecting yourself or a loved one is having checks and balances in place before its too late.
Examples include having co-trustees for irrevocable trusts that hold assets and co-agents under the power of attorney — both of which give added protection. “Also, having a guardian or conservator appointed can be useful,” Altman says.
Altman’s own article, “Pre-Grave Robbing: The Financial Abuse of Elders” offers a more detailed look at how to protect elders from financial manipulation and fraud.