Where elderly loved ones are living in somewhat isolated fashion from other family members, it can be prudent to check on them with sufficient scrutiny and regularity to rest assured that they are not falling prey to the machinations of third parties seeking to defraud them.
Indeed, that is a sad admonition, yet it is also a necessary recommendation, according to advocates for the elderly who often see the results of fraud efforts targeting them.
They are flatly vulnerable, notes a principal with one national advocacy organization.
“And that’s why we’re so concerned about the isolation of older people,” he says.
His comments come in tandem with a recently reported story highlighting the efforts of one woman who befriended an elderly widower living alone.
In fact, she married him and then wasted no time in an effort to systematically empty his various savings accounts. Bank authorities alerted enforcement officials, who intervened and subsequently filed criminal charges against the woman. She was recently sentenced to a two-year prison term.
Her victim now has a guardian.
Many families are fortunate enough to be able to engage in a candid conversation regarding the planning needs and aspirations of older loved ones. It is important to note that timely estate planning can comprehensively address matters of concern and put into place tools — including trusts, powers of attorneys and guardianships — that can protect the interests of family members who might otherwise be comparatively vulnerable to third-party attempts to defraud them.
A proven, impassioned and client-empathetic estate planning attorney can work with a family to fully address elder law concerns and craft legal strategies and related documents to promote the best interests of senior loved ones.