The problem of financial abuse of seniors was highlighted again recently with the upholding of the conviction in New York of Anthony Marshall for scamming his own mother, socialite and philanthropist Brooke Astor. Marshall exploited his mother’s failing mental health to steal money from her and also forged her name on a Will leaving her assets to him. The crime of financial scams perpetrated on elders is one that it is not just committed by outside scammers who exploit the vulnerability of seniors with money, but also by people close to the seniors, such as caretakers, friends and family.
It is important for family members to assist older family members with their finances to avoid this type of financial exploitation. For seniors who are of sound mind and wish to manage their own affairs, the assistance can be merely a matter of “quality control” in which the trusted family member or members monitor bills, payments and investments. For seniors less able to manage their affairs, the assistance should include control over finances and should also include the involvement of more than one person in order to avoid conflicts of interest or the very type of exploitation which you wish to avoid.
For more information about senior scams and how to prevent them, you should check out my book “A Guide to Elder Planning.” A link to Amazon is provided elsewhere on this blog.
I also invite you to check out the vast number of scams contained in the archives of scamicide.com which can be accessed directly from the bottom of the blog where it says “older entries.”