Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dealing with suspected financial abuse

The January 2013 issue of Consumer Reports contains an outstanding article entitled Protecting Mom & Dad's Money: What to do when you suspect financial abuse.

Here is a list of warning signs from the article:

• Unpaid bills when someone else has been designated to make payments.

• Missing property, large or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, or transfers between accounts.

• Excessively large reimbursements or “gifts” to caregivers or friends.

• New authorized signers on a person’s bank account.

• Changes in banks or attorneys.

• Bank statements and canceled checks no longer coming to the person’s home.

• Unfamiliar signatures on checks and other documents.

• Changes in spending patterns, such as purchases of items the senior doesn’t need.

• Lack of personal amenities such as clean clothes and grooming items.

• Changes in documents such as a will or power of attorney, or a change in beneficiaries that the senior can’t completely explain or comprehend.

• Excessive interest in the senior’s finances by a caregiver, friend, or relative.


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