Thursday, August 14, 2014
Kiplinger’s has labeled financial abuse of the elderly “the crime of the 21st Century.” This should come as no surprise, as a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reported that as many as one in twenty older adults in America may be victims.
The question then becomes what can be done to curb this growing ignominy?
Fortunately, there are new efforts aimed at getting lawyers to spot and report financial fraud targeting older Americans. The nonprofit Investor Protection Trust and its sister organization, the Investor Protection Institute have teamed up with the American Bar Association (ABA) to launch the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) Prevention Program Legal.
The EIFFE Program has potential to succeed, as lawyers can be among the first to spot problems. “We knew that a lot of attorneys—not just elder law attorneys—are helping seniors with estate plans and wills and powers of attorney, so they would be in a position to spot someone who could potentially be at risk of financial exploitation.” Nine of ten practicing attorneys said they are willing to participate in a program to learn about detecting, preventing and redressing elder investment fraud and financial exploitation.
See Richard Eisenberg, Promising Effort to Curb Elder Financial Abuse, Forbes, Aug. 13, 2014.