The vast majority of elder financial abuse comes at the hands of family members and trusted caregivers. Abusers often don’t view themselves as doing anything wrong. They justify misappropriation of resources as something they are somehow entitled to because
- they have been the one caring for you and have sacrificed their time and sometimes resources to do so
- they feel they will inherit anyway, so why not start a little early?
- their relationship with you is complicated
- they don’t get along with or don’t trust their siblings
- substance abuse or debt of a financial caregiver
There are many reasons, but they could impact your ability to pay for the services you need as you get older. While this in no way implies that everyone is out to ‘get’ you, it is a good idea to have a system set up to protect yourself as you get older. One way to do this is to have more than just one trusted financial caregiver checking in. Your team can be multiple children, nieces & nephews, friends and paid caregivers (Attorney, CPA, Daily Money Manager) , just so there are two or more.
Financial caregivers are those who assist with personal finances. They should be trustworthy, and able to spot unusual account activity, bounced checks, strange ATM withdrawals, and a host of other issues that non-financial caregivers would not have access to. The ideal situation is to be able to hire a professional to handle your finances (to relieve your children of that burden), but have an adult child or other trusted person to check account reconciliations and activity. Paper Tigress Personal Finance Care, LLC can provide this service. If that is not feasible, make sure there are two sets of eyes on everything.