Elder law attorneys help people plan ahead for the eventualities of aging and some of the challenges that seniors may face. One of these is possible exposure to elder financial abuse.
This is a very complicated situation. When you think about financial abuse of elders you may picture a scam artist somehow fast talking a senior citizen out of money. This of course does take place, and it is part of the problem.
However, studies are showing that a significant percentage of the elder abuse that takes place is perpetrated by people who are close to the victim. Unfortunately this can often times be family members. Sometimes it is a neighbor or someone who would appear to be a friend.
Professional caregivers sometimes have close access as well, and though most of them are well-intentioned and honest there are exceptions.
The reason why this is complicated is because many seniors really need the assistance that is provided by the people that are abusing them financially. They may not want to rock the boat as it were, and even if the senior who is being abused could find help elsewhere he or she may want to protect a loved one.
And, there can be a hazy grey area that exists where the abuser somehow feels entitled to the money he or she essentially steals.
If you want to be proactive about protecting yourself you would do well to discuss the issue with a licensed elder law attorney. You could potentially use legal devices to shield much of what you own from financial predators.