Hello, I'm Mike Hackard. I lead Hackard Law, a law firm that focuses on significant estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation in California. I'm the author of the new book Alzheimer's, Widowed Stepmothers & Estate Crimes, now available on Amazon.
What are some ways you can spot and prevent elder financial abuse to keep an elderly loved one safe? The first step is to look for red flags indicating something's wrong.
How can you spot elder financial abuse?
- You notice unpaid bills and/or utilities have been shut off due to non-paayment.
- Checks or estate documents show unfamiliar/odd signatures that don't match the elder's.
- The elder's will or trust has been changed without their full understanding or permission (Abusers exploit conditions like Alzheimer's and dementia).
- Someone sells the elder's home without their approval (unlawful house transfer).
- The elder has been influenced or coerced into signing other legal documents like power of attorney or a joint deed to a house.
- Valuables inexplicably disappear from the elder's house. Bank accounts show irregularities like frequent withdrawals or unfamiliar charges.
When you find the answers to these questions, you'll be that much closer to stopping any wrongdoing that might be afoot. If you encounter evidence of theft or fraud, first call local law enforcement. Once you've ensured your elderly loved one is safe, then you can think about possible recovery through civil litigation and holding the wrongdoer accountable.
If you would like a free digital copy of Alzheimer's, Widowed Stepmothers & Estate Crimes, email us at [email protected] I'm happy to share this book on a very important topic.