Legal Planning can Help Prevent Elder Abuse

Sometimes the people we trust most can disappoint us. Learn how legal planning and estate tools protect the elderly from abuse and exploitation.

In a recent case reported by FOX43, an 86-year-old father fell victim to elder abuse at the hands of his own son. According to the report, the son stole $153,168 from his father. This story is a painful reminder of how even trusted individuals can exploit the vulnerability of our elderly loved ones. Likewise, it reminds us to be vigilant of elder abuse to prevent these heartbreaking situations.

What Is Elder Abuse, and Why Is It a Growing Concern?

Elder abuse is a serious issue that affects many older adults. It includes physical, emotional, and financial harm, and the perpetrators are often trusted individuals. Many elderly people rely on others for their daily needs, making them vulnerable to abuse.

To make matters worse, elder abuse is becoming more common as the elderly population grows. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) states that one in ten Americans aged 60 and older has experienced some form of elder abuse.

How can Legal Planning Protect Elders with POAS?

Legal planning can help protect an elderly person’s wishes and their assets. Elder law attorneys can assist in creating essential documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. These documents guide the management of an elderly person’s assets and who will make decisions on their behalf.

A power of attorney (POA) is especially important. It’s a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for another person. If an elderly individual cannot make decisions for themselves, a POA is vital. A trustworthy person holding power of attorney can prevent financial abuse and protect the elderly person’s needs.

What are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse?

Recognizing the signs of elder abuse is crucial for prevention. Some common warning signs include:

  • Unexplained injuries or bruises
  • Sudden changes in financial situation
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Poor hygiene or living conditions
  • Fear or anxiety around certain individuals

What Steps can Be Taken to Prevent Elder Abuse?

  • Regular Check-Ins: Regularly check in on your elderly loved ones. Frequent visits or phone calls can help you notice any changes in their behavior or living conditions.
  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the signs of elder abuse and stay informed about how to protect your loved ones.
  • Legal Safeguards: Work with an elder law attorney to create legal documents that protect the elderly person’s assets and outline their care preferences.

How can Elder Law Help Protect Seniors?

Elder law encompasses various legal issues affecting older adults. These include estate planning, healthcare, and guardianship. An elder law attorney can help create a comprehensive plan to protect the elderly individual and their assets. Some strategies include setting up trusts to manage assets, appointing guardians or conservators, and drafting advance healthcare directives.

Take your first step toward securing a comprehensive estate plan; schedule a consultation today.

Key Takeaways

  • Elder Abuse Awareness: Stay alert to warning signs of elder abuse. Sudden financial changes, unexplained injuries, and strange behaviors are potential warning signs.
  • Importance of Legal Planning: Elder law can protect your loved ones. Leverage legal tools like powers of attorney and trusts.
  • Role of Estate Planning: Estate planning isn’t just for distributing assets after someone dies. Instead, it can protect them during their lifetime.
  • Consult an Elder Law Attorney: Aging well can be a challenge. Professional legal advice can make it safer and easier.

References:  FOX43 (Oct. 22, 2018) “Son charged for stealing $153,168 from 86-year-old father, officials talk elder abuse warning signs |”

NCOA (National Council on Aging) (Feb. 23, 2021) “Get the Facts on Elder Abuse”

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