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How to prevent elder law issues and financial abuse

As people age, they may become increasingly vulnerable to financial abuse. For example, relatives can misuse assets after being granted access to accounts through guardianship. Elderly people and their loved ones should have an understanding of these potential crimes and how they are addressed by Delaware elder law in order to protect themselves.

Elderly people should remain vigilant about their bank balances, especially after a guardian or power of attorney is given access. Often, those who have a guardian are particularly vulnerable and may even be incapacitated. In this case, family members, loved ones and even legal representatives or financial advisers can look out for certain red flags.

There are several things that may signal an elder law or financial abuse issue. If one's own authority as guardian is used to transfer property to oneself or receive personal payments without court permission, financial abuse may be taking place. Any decisions made which are not in the elderly person's best interest should be investigated, especially if they involve a transfer of funds. 

One of the best ways to avoid these elder law issues is to pick the right person to be a power of attorney. Elderly people under guardianship may be dealing with cognitive decline and dementia, so they should protect themselves by naming several trusted people in advance of these health issues. Having multiple people involved to keep an eye on things can offer additional security if one is abusing their access. For this reason, is a good idea to grant multiple family members power of attorney. This can be done in accordance with Delaware laws by working with an elder law attorney.

Source: Forbes, "5 Ways To Spot And Stop Elder Financial Abuse", John Wasik, March 30, 2018

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