People today are living longer than ever, which is wonderful, but also means that they need their savings to stretch further than before. While many seniors feel comfortable with their finances, there are those who want to take advantage of them and will go to great lengths to steal seniors’ money, even when they are related to the victim. Worse still is that around a third of seniors don’t know how to report the abuse, even when they recognize it. Experts say there are ways for financial advisors and others to pick up on potential elder financial abuse. Asset protection is vital for seniors in Texas and across the country who want to be certain that their assets last them through the end of their life.
Initially, a senior should delegate certain responsibilities to chosen people. First, a durable power of attorney is a person who can handle the senior’s finances if he or she is unable to for any reason. The senior can also create a revocable trust and assign a co-trustee to ensure that it is used properly. Though this is generally a step for those who have high assets, it’s still a great step to consider. Another designation to make are multiple trusted contacts, who can all serve as a check and balance for one another to ensure that the original estate owner’s wishes are being honored.
Experts also warn family and financial advisors to watch for any unusual spending on the part of the senior. That can indicate he or she has some cognitive decline or that someone else is taking advantage of the situation. Advisors can also reference guidelines set forth by different entities meant to protect seniors’ finances. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association created a list of signs of undue influence that advisors can watch for, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority permits brokers to hold funds for up to 15 days if there is any reason to suspect elder financial abuse.
One of the best methods of asset protection is for everyone to consider estate planning. Working with an attorney here in Texas who can create a thorough estate plan can help prevent financial elder abuse. Ideally, seniors will have the means to care for themselves and leave what they wish to their loved ones after their lives are over.