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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