Protect Your Parents from Financial Elder Abuse

815507_sOver the last ten years or so, elder abuse has evolved from being the dirty secret no one wanted discussed over Thanksgiving dinner to a recognized social problem affecting every segment of our nation’s population. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), an arm of the U.S. Administration on Aging, estimates one in ten seniors suffered elder abuse of one kind or another last year.

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse may be manifested in many ways, from abandonment and neglect to physical abuse and financial abuse. According to the NCEA, financial or material exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets, such as cashing an elderly person’s checks without permission, forging the older person’s signature, taking their money or property or using coercion to convince the older person to transfer property to the abuser or sign documents giving the abuser authority over the elder’s financial affairs.

Signs of financial elder abuse

Financial abuse is the most prevalent type of elder abuse and can go completely unnoticed unless you know what signs to look for. If you visited your parents or grandparents over the holidays, you may have noticed one or more of these signs that something is amiss:

  • Overdraft notices from the bank
  • Stacks of unopened mail
  • Missing jewelry or collectibles
  • Changes in account ownership to include a caregiver or other relative
  • Sudden appearance of relatives or friends who didn’t previously enjoy a close bond with the elder
  • Unopened packages from mail order catalogs or internet shopping sources

It is far better to talk to your loved ones about your concerns than to let a real problem continue to fester and potentially leave your loved ones in financial ruin, facing the remainder of their days with little or no money. Alternatively, your loved ones’ mental capacity may have deteriorated to the point they don’t understand what is going on. In that case, it may be time to seek conservatorship authority from a court to protect your loved ones from financial ruin.

Call for advice today

For more information about stopping financial elder abuse or appointment as a conservator by a Texas court, talk to one of our experienced probate lawyers at Peterson Law Group. We can discuss the details of your situation and recommend a course of action to protect your loved ones’ future. Arrange a meeting by calling 979-703-7014 today or visit us online.

About Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is an attorney and the owner and founder of Peterson Law Group, a Texas law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station and Kingwood. He mainly practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Business Planning. Chris is also a Certified Estate Planner. Besides his law practice, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and community volunteer. He is known for his cutting edge law practice that utilizes technology to deliver efficient, excellent work.