Last week I was honored to deliver a presentation to the Sacramento chapter of the California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI). The topic was an important and timely one - how to spot elder financial abuse.
Like estate and trust litigation attorneys, private investigators can encounter multiple cases of elder exploitation in the course of their work. It's important to know what might constitute a red flag in situations where abuse could be occurring. Since my audience was made up of many experienced investigators, we were able to "compare notes" and share knowledge with one another.
I was encouraged to see such a sharp group of professionals who are alert to incidents of elder financial abuse and undue influence, because we need competent investigators who can provide the evidence necessary to civilly prosecute wrongdoers. Law enforcement is often too overburdened to respond to these crimes, while Adult Protective Services also has limited resources. With the Treasury Department reporting twice the number of elder financial abuse cases compared to just five years ago, it means that each of us has a responsibility to be on the lookout.
CALI also gave me the opportunity to share my new book Alzheimer's, Widowed Stepmothers & Estate Crimes, the follow-up to The Wolf at the Door. Everyone took home free copies of both, and I hope they'll be useful in spotting and stopping predators.
I'd like to thank CALI for their gracious reception and an enjoyable, informative evening. My special appreciation goes out to Anna Stowe and Frank Huntington for helping organize the event. The fight against elder financial abuse will be a defining challenge for Baby Boomers and their families, so let's all work to protect our elderly loved ones from harm. Just remember, each one of us can make a difference.