Thursday, January 22, 2009
Matthew A. Christiansen has recently posted on SSRN his article entitled Unconscionable: Financial Exploitation of Elderly Persons with Dementia.
Here is the abstract of his article:
Millions of Americans must deal with the affects of dementia on an elderly family member. Once a person develops dementia it creates an acute potential for financial abuse. This article recounts the real life financial exploitation of Gladys Smith, an elderly woman with dementia. It then analyzes Gladys's estate plan in order to show how her exploitation could have been avoided or mitigated. The article offers four steps to preventing financial exploitation: (1) expecting the worst-case scenarios; (2) advance planning; (3) periodic communication; and (4) creating layers of protection to guard against the worst-case scenarios.