In the United States, those age 50 and beyond control approximately 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. This means senior citizens in Georgia and elsewhere are at great risk for financial abuse, as the ultimate goal of many fraudsters is to take advantage of older people who they believe are vulnerable. Learning how to recognize signs of possible financial exploitation is a first step toward helping protect aging parents and other elders.
It is one thing if a criminal grabs someone’s wallet and runs off with his or her money. When it comes to financial crimes against the elderly, however, criminal activity is not usually so blatant. In fact, undue influence is a common tactic used to swindle older people out of their money; such influence may initially come across looking like loving support.
If someone is trying to gain financial control of an older person’s money or property, it is definitely a red flag that warrants further investigation, especially if the older person in question has not requested such support. An older person can discuss his or her financial goals with a long-term care planning attorney, who can help execute an estate plan, as well as provide guidance regarding asset protection. An attorney also knows what steps to take to investigate suspicious behavior.
Senior citizens in Georgia and beyond will want to secure their checkbooks, as well as all financial account and investment information. It is also a good idea to review one’s credit report every year to make sure it is accurate. If a conversation or incident occurs that makes an older person feel uncomfortable, such as someone trying to obtain a signature or trying to convince him or her to give up financial control, he or she can take immediate action to rectify the situation by calling upon an experienced elder law attorney for support.