Elderly Are Common Targets for Financial Abuse

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Older Americans have spent their entire lives working hard and preparing for retirement. Utilizing whatever they were able to save through pensions and property, they slowly draw down their funds and rely on Social Security and Medicare to make it on a month-to-month basis. They have earned the right to relax, but unfortunately, there are hundreds of people seeking to take advantage of this population.

The elderly can be particularly susceptible to financial abuse. The financial exploitation of older Americans is frightfully common. Some forms of exploitation are to prey upon people suffering from dementia, to withhold personal or medical care in order to coerce the victim into providing money or property or to improperly use a Power of Attorney or other legal standings.

It can be difficult for family, friends, and courts to know whether a given individual is of sound mind to make decisions. Profiteers can take advantage of this, coaxing elderly individuals into signing over property when they are unaware of what they are doing. Unless someone intervenes, this type of activity can go on for years. This is most prevalent when the individual is suffering from dementia or some other form of medically diagnosable diminished capacity.

Oftentimes, elderly individuals are reliant on others for care or help. Sometimes this is actual physical assistance around the home, but sometimes it is just needing someone to run errands or provide transportation to medical appointments if the older person can’t drive. In these situations, the person providing assistance can refuse to provide help unless the older individual provides unreasonable amounts of compensation.

Dependent on the situation, some elderly individuals are unable to prevent others from obtaining a Power of Attorney or other legal standings. Sometimes the elderly individual trusts the wrong person. If this happens, the person holding legal standing can dispose of property and funds in inappropriate manners completely contrary to what the exploited person would approve of.

If someone you love has suffered from financial exploitation or abuse, understanding the legal remedies available to them can be difficult. There are laws protecting against fraud and coercion. Please contact an experienced attorney who can help undo the damage that has been done.