Protecting the Elderly from Financial Exploitation

By April 6, 2016 December 21st, 2017 Uncategorized

Elder Law involves protecting all aspects of the individual – and sometimes it involves protecting them from themselves from exploitation by swindlers.  A comprehensive Estate Plan can address, minimize and prevent your loved ones from exploitation by swindlers.

How Many Seniors Are Being Exploited?

Seventeen percent of Americans over the age of 65, or 6.8 million people, have been taken advantage of financially through high fees, inappropriate investments or outright fraud, according to a new survey. The findings, the results of a survey done by Public Policy Polling for the Investor Protection Trust, represented an improvement over a similar study taken in 2010, which discovered 20 percent of seniors had been victimized. Investor Protection Trust is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education and protection.

Those involved in the study said seniors, over time, have become better educated about financial matters, and that both the children and health care providers of seniors are more aware of medical problems that might diminish older people’s ability to make decisions about money.

What to Do When A Loved One Gets Exploited

Accused swindler Bernard Madoff exits the Manhattan federal court house in New York , in this January 14, 2009 file photo. Madoff took the first public step to a guilty plea on criminal charges of running a $50 billion investment fraud over many years, according to court papers March 6, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files (UNITED STATES)

Accused swindler Bernard Madoff exits the Manhattan federal court house in New York , in this January 14, 2009 file photo. Madoff took the first public step to a guilty plea on criminal charges of running a $50 billion investment fraud over many years, according to court papers March 6, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files (UNITED STATES)

Sadly, family members learn of a parent being the victim of being exploited financially only after the fact, the funds have been absconded with, and mom or dad reluctantly share their experience. In such cases, you should:

  1. Notify the police and provide them with whatever information you have as to what was taken and who the perpetrators were;
  2. Contact your insurance companies – often homeowners policies will contain coverage in the event of theft and criminal activity.

Want to make sure your loved ones are protected from being exploited? Here is a checklist of things to do when someone has been exploited. An estate plan consisting of Trusts and restricted bank accounts may be an initial step toward preventing your loved one from becoming a victim.

Contact us to discuss a plan that helps the ones you love.

Read the Full Article from Chicago Tribune.

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About Matt Leonard

Matthew J. Leonard, Esq. has devoted his practice to handling the legal needs of individuals and their business interests through all stages of life. As an attorney with the law firm of Salter McGowan Sylvia & Leonard, Inc., he has been engaged to handle matters from basic to sophisticated involving Estate Planning, Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Probate, Trust and Estate Administration, Real Estate, Business Transactions, Business Creation and related litigation.