Tips from the Guide for Legal Professionals: Elder Investment Fraud & Financial Exploitation

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I offer helpful information from the "Pocket Guide for Legal Professionals, Elder Investment Fraud & Financial Exploitation" published and distributed by the Maine Office of Securities.

Asking About Financial Capacity -- Conservation Starters:
  • Do you feel confident making financial decisions on your own?
  • Who manages y our money day to day?  How is that going?
  • Are you having any trouble paying your bills?
  • Is anyone pressuring you to give them money?
  • Do you receive a lot of solicitations by phone or mail?

Red Flags for Financial Exploitation:
  • Senior moves away from existing relations and toward new associations with other "friends" or strangers
  • Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to senior's affairs and possessions
  • Abrupt changes to financial documents, such as POA, account beneficiaries, wills and trusts, or deeds
  • Senior is accompanied by an overly protective caregiver who dominates the client
  • Changes in the senior's behavior; suspicious, fearful, emotionally labile, or secretive
  • Senior displays unexplained or unusual excitement over a financial windfall or prize check; may be reluctant to discuss details
  • Noticeable neglect or decline in appearance or hygiene or the senior's basic needs are not being met
Vulnerability/ Risk Factors:
  • Social isolation
  • Bereavement
  • Dependence on another to provide care
  • Financial responsibility for an adult child or spouse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Depression or mental illness

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