Daily Law Group
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You may need to keep your parents from financial victimization

Watching your parents age can be extremely difficult, since you do not want them to struggle financially or be in pain. Yet, you might not know how to balance their desire to remain independent with your concerns over their safety and well-being.

Although you probably cannot visit your parents daily to monitor your their situation, there are some ways you can help them safeguard their futures. Your first step should be gaining an understanding of the scope of elder financial abuse.

Older adults are at risk of financial fraud

Abuse and neglect are common concerns among adult children of elderly parents, although many people believe maltreatment only happens in assisted living or nursing home facilities. However, while your folks may be able to remain in their own home, they could still be a target for those wishing to take advantage of others.

Most people do not report cases of elder financial abuse, whether out of embarrassment or confusion. However, there are an estimated 5 million cases of elder exploitation annually within the United States, amounting to more than $27 billion in losses. In fact, reports suggest elderly Californians have lost nearly $2.4 billion to financial exploitation.

How can you help shield your parents from loss?

A good place to start is to become involved in overseeing or monitoring your parents’ finances. Are they doing the following?

  • Maintaining a paper trail of their expenditures
  • Reviewing their credit reports on an annual basis
  • Locking up bank statements, checkbooks and private information
  • Vetting organizations and individuals who make requests for money
  • Shredding financial statements and credit offers

If you notice uncommonly large withdrawals from an account, valuables missing from the home or new friends involving themselves in your parents’ lives, ask questions rather than to let suspicions slide. If you notice other indicators of fraudulent activity, seek professional help.

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