There are various reasons why children become concerned about their elderly parents’ assets. In some cases, parents’ declining health sparks concern. This is particularly true in cases where memory problems or dementia begin to develop. Additionally, elderly Americans frequently become targets of scams and other types of fraud. Here, we want to discuss different ways that you can help protect your elderly parents’ assets moving forward.
Signs of Dementia & Difficulty with Money
If you begin to notice early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s in your elderly parent(s), it is time to raise concerns about their finances and assets. As dementia and Alzheimer’s progress, individuals become more and more incapable of properly managing their daily lives, including financial decisions. Unfortunately, it is easy for opportunistic scammers to take advantage of people suffering from dementia.
If your parent has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you should strongly consider taking over their finances or offering to help them.
Finance Protection Tips
First and foremost, it is important to realize that your elderly parents are part of a demographic that a major target of financial scams and fraud. Here are some tips to keep in mind when taking on a bigger role in helping your parents with their finances.
- Have the conversation. One of the most difficult parts of protecting an elderly parent’s assets is initiating the conversation. Many elderly people do not want to admit that they may need help managing any aspect of their lives, particularly their finances. However, you can introduce the conversation in a non-threatening way.
- Create a family financial management plan. You can create a comprehensive family financial plan that involves anyone your parents are comfortable including, including you or other siblings.
- What documents have been completed, and where they are? You should know whether there are any plans for your parents’ assets. This includes estate plans, a last will and testament, durable power of attorney, etc. You should know where these documents are at all times.
- Be alert to changes in financial accounts. If you have access to your parents’ bank accounts, be on the lookout for any charges that look out of the ordinary, including credit card purchases, withdrawals, or anything else unusual.
- Keep up to date on new scams. Various news agencies regularly report about new scams that target elderly citizens. As soon as you hear about any new scams, regardless of how they are perpetrated, let your elderly parents know what to look out for. Warn them about not giving out any personal information over the phone and not trusting anyone who calls or texts them to solicit money.
When to Contact a Financial Elder Abuse Lawyer
Elder financial abuse is common in the United States, though it is not always well documented. Often, elderly people do not report when they have been financially abused or scammed, usually because they are ashamed that it happened, even if the abuse was perpetrated by another family member of friend. If you suspect that your elderly parent has been financially abused, contact a Riverside financial elder abuse attorney with the experience to investigate your case and help determine what steps to take next.