In many of our stories, elder abuse is a physical act like medical malpractice or battery, but there is another form of elder abuse that be just a troublesome. That’s financial elder abuse. An elder who finds themselves without any money to cover necessary medical expenses due to fraud will have nowhere to turn except the court system.
Often this process can start before an elder goes into a nursing home. Once people hit retirement age, there are a lot of scammers that will try to target an elder to part them with their money. One common way is to invite an elder to a free lunch and try to sell them estate planning or annuities. While technically legal, it is all too easy for a naive elder to fall to a bad investment. The best way to avoid that is to only work with financial advisors that work on a fee-only basis, not on commissions.
Where the legal side comes in is when a caretaker or a family member misuses funds for their own use. When an elder does not have the cognitive capacity to manage their finances anymore, it is very common for someone else to take control through a power of attorney or similar instrument. This gives them the authority to perform financial activities on the elder’s behalf. But if these funds are misused or used for fraudulent purposes, they should be stopped.
If you believe your loved one’s finances are being mismanaged, contact Schenk Smith Trial Attorneys for a free consultation. We have great experience in elder abuse and nursing home injury cases. Call today.