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Category: Advice

Understanding the Difference Between Wills and Trusts: Which is Right for You?

Estate planning is an essential process to ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes after your death. Two of the most common estate planning tools are wills and trusts. Understanding the differences between these tools can help you make informed decisions about what is best for your circumstances and your family. This blog post will delve into the features, advantages, and disadvantages of both wills and trusts, providing valuable insights to help you determine the right choice for your unique needs.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that details your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after your death. This includes property, investments, and personal items. In a will, you can also appoint a guardian for your minor children and an executor who will be responsible for managing your estate, paying any debts or taxes, and distributing your assets as you have specified.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wills

Wills are generally easier and less expensive to prepare than trusts. They allow you to express your preferences regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children.

However, wills only take effect after your death and do not provide any control over your assets while you are still alive. Furthermore, the probate process associated with wills can be time-consuming and costly, and it also makes the details of your estate public record.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement where you, as the grantor, transfer ownership of certain assets to the trust, which is managed by a trustee for the benefit of your chosen beneficiaries. Trusts can be effective both during your lifetime and after your death.

Trusts can be revocable, meaning you can change or cancel them during your lifetime, or irrevocable, meaning they cannot be altered without the consent of the beneficiaries.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Trusts

Trusts provide more control over your assets, as they can stipulate specific conditions for the distribution of assets. They are effective immediately and can manage how your assets are used while you’re alive and after your death.

Trusts also avoid probate, leading to faster distribution of assets to your beneficiaries, and they keep the details of your estate private.

However, trusts can be more complex and costly to set up than wills. They also require you to actively transfer ownership of your assets to the trust, which can be a time-consuming process.

Wills vs. Trusts: Which is Right for You?

The choice between a will and a trust depends on your individual circumstances, preferences, and financial situation.

You might prefer a will if you have a smaller estate or prefer simplicity and lower upfront costs. A will may also be a suitable choice if you have minor children and need to appoint a guardian.

On the other hand, a trust might be the right choice if you have a larger estate, want to avoid probate, or desire more control over the distribution of your assets. Trusts can also be beneficial for managing your assets should you become incapacitated.

Contact Beasley & Ferber for Expert Guidance

Understanding the difference between wills and trusts is crucial for effective estate planning. At Beasley & Ferber, our knowledgeable elder law and estate planning attorneys are committed to helping you navigate these complex decisions.

If you need assistance determining whether a will or a trust is the right choice for your estate planning needs, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team is ready to answer your questions and provide the support you need to make informed decisions about your estate and future. With over 60 years of combined experience, we are dedicated to helping our clients protect their assets and plan for the future with confidence. Don’t leave your estate planning to chance. Reach out to Beasley & Ferber for expert guidance tailored to your unique needs and goals.

Financial Scams Targeting Seniors: How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Financial scams targeting seniors are, unfortunately, all too common. As the older population grows, so does the number of unscrupulous individuals looking to take advantage of their hard-earned savings. Seniors may be more susceptible to these scams due to factors like loneliness, a willingness to trust, or a lack of knowledge about technology. This blog post will explore some common financial scams targeting seniors, warning signs to look out for, and steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Common Financial Scams Targeting Seniors

Scammers use various tactics to target seniors. Here are a few of the most prevalent scams to be aware of:

1. Telemarketing Scams

Scammers may call seniors, pretending to represent a charity, a well-known company, or even a government agency. They may ask for personal information, such as Social Security numbers or bank account details, or request immediate payment for a fake product or service.

2. Email and Phishing Scams

Phishing scams involve sending fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate sources, like banks, credit card companies, or government agencies. These emails often ask recipients to click on a link or provide personal information, potentially leading to identity theft or financial loss.

3. Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams

In this type of scam, seniors are told they’ve won a lottery or sweepstakes but need to pay a fee or provide personal information to claim their prize. This is merely a ploy to steal money or sensitive data.

4. Grandparent Scams

Scammers may call seniors, pretending to be a grandchild in distress who needs money immediately. They often rely on the senior’s emotions and urgency to keep them from verifying the situation.

5. Romance Scams

Seniors using online dating platforms may be targeted by scammers who create fake profiles, form a relationship with the senior, and eventually ask for money for various reasons.

Warning Signs of Financial Scams

Recognizing the warning signs of financial scams can help protect you and your loved ones. Some red flags include:

  • Unsolicited phone calls or emails asking for personal or financial information.
  • Requests for immediate payment or to wire money.
  • Pressure to make quick decisions without time for research or consultation.
  • Offers that seem too good to be true or require upfront fees.
  • Inconsistent or suspicious behavior from online contacts.
  • How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

To safeguard against financial scams targeting seniors, consider implementing the following measures:

1. Educate Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Learn about common scams targeting seniors and discuss these issues with your loved ones. Open communication can help raise awareness and ensure everyone is prepared to recognize and avoid scams.

2. Safeguard Personal Information

Never share personal or financial information with unsolicited callers or emailers. Keep sensitive documents secure, and shred any unneeded documents containing personal information.

3. Verify Information

Before providing information or making payments, verify the legitimacy of the organization or individual. Research the company online, check for reviews, or consult with friends, family, or professionals.

4. Use Technology Wisely

Install antivirus software on your devices, use strong passwords, and keep software up-to-date. Be cautious with online dating and social media platforms, and avoid sharing too much personal information.

5. Report Suspicious Activity

If you or a loved one suspects a scam, report it to local law enforcement, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or your state’s consumer protection agency. Reporting can help protect others and potentially stop the scammers.

Contact Beasley & Ferber for Trusted Legal Advice

Financial scams targeting seniors can have a devastating impact on your hard-earned savings and your peace of mind. At Beasley & Ferber, our experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys are dedicated to helping you protect your assets and secure your financial future.

If you or a loved one have concerns about financial scams or need guidance in asset protection planning, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team is ready to answer your questions and provide the support you need to make informed decisions about your financial and legal needs.

The Importance of Advance Directives and Living Wills

As we age, planning for the future becomes increasingly important. One of the most crucial aspects of planning involves making decisions about your healthcare and end-of-life care. Advance directives and living wills can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind, knowing that your wishes will be respected and followed in case you are unable to make or communicate these decisions yourself. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of advance directives and living wills, their key differences, and how they can benefit you and your family.

What are Advance Directives?

Advance directives are legal documents that outline your preferences for medical treatment and care when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. They serve as a guide for your healthcare providers, ensuring that your choices are respected and followed. Advance directives come in various forms, including living wills and durable power of attorney for healthcare.

Understanding Living Wills

A living will is a type of advance directive that specifically addresses your preferences for medical treatment in the event of a terminal illness or persistent vegetative state. This document is essential because it provides clear instructions for your healthcare providers and family members when you are unable to communicate your desires. A living will can cover various aspects of your medical care, such as whether you want to be kept on life support, receive artificial nutrition and hydration, or undergo specific medical procedures.

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A durable power of attorney for healthcare, also known as a healthcare proxy, is another form of advance directive. In this document, you designate a trusted individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. This person, known as your agent, will be responsible for ensuring that your healthcare providers follow your wishes and make decisions in your best interest, taking into account your previously expressed preferences and values.

Why are Advance Directives and Living Wills Important?

There are several reasons why creating advance directives and living wills should be a priority for you and your family:

1. Ensuring Your Wishes are Respected

Advance directives and living wills provide clear guidance for your healthcare providers and loved ones, ensuring that your wishes are respected and followed even when you are unable to communicate them. This can bring peace of mind to both you and your family, knowing that your preferences will be honored.

2. Reducing Family Conflicts

When family members are faced with difficult decisions about your medical care, disagreements may arise. By creating a living will and designating a healthcare proxy, you can help reduce conflicts by providing clear instructions and appointing someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf.

3. Preventing Unnecessary Medical Treatments

Without advance directives in place, your healthcare providers may be unsure of your preferences and could administer aggressive treatments that you would not have wanted. A living will can help prevent unwanted medical procedures and ensure that your end-of-life care aligns with your values.

4. Preserving Your Dignity

By outlining your preferences in a living will and designating a healthcare proxy, you can maintain control over your healthcare decisions and preserve your dignity during a time when you may be most vulnerable.

How to Create Advance Directives and Living Wills

Creating advance directives and living wills involves several steps:

Discuss your preferences with your loved ones and healthcare providers.
Consult with an experienced elder law attorney to ensure that your documents meet legal requirements.
Make copies of your documents and distribute them to your healthcare providers, family members, and healthcare proxy.
4. Review your advance directives and living wills periodically and update them as necessary to reflect any changes in your preferences or health status.

Reach Out to Beasley & Ferber for Expert Guidance

Advance directives and living wills are essential components of a comprehensive estate plan. By creating these documents, you can ensure that your wishes are respected, reduce potential family conflicts, and preserve your dignity during times of vulnerability.

At Beasley & Ferber, our experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys are here to guide you through the process of creating advance directives and living wills, tailoring them to your unique needs and preferences. With over 60 years of combined experience, we are dedicated to helping our clients protect their hard-earned assets and plan for the future with confidence.

If you or a loved one are considering creating advance directives or living wills, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team is ready to answer your questions and provide the support you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare and end-of-life planning.

When an Elderly Parent Wants to Live Alone

According to a recent article in Forbes, more than 90 percent of elderly people who were surveyed express the intent to remain living in their own homes as they age and are committed to never moving. This is true even if it means living alone after a divorce or the death of a spouse. Unfortunately, that is not always possible.

Signs Your Parent Should No Longer Live Alone

There comes a time when no matter how much your elderly parent wants to remain living alone, it is no longer feasible for them to do so. A few signs that they need help are:

  • They exhibit personality changes such as getting angry easily, or being withdrawn and silent or lashing out.
  • Forgetting to take their medications.
  • They have trouble paying their bills.
  • They neglect their personal care demonstrated by not brushing their hair, not getting dressed appropriately, and forgetting things like eating.
  • They can no longer use their computer and have trouble even with their phone.

If this is happening to your elderly parent, it is time to have a serious discussion with them about making a change.

Tips on How to Discuss Living Options with Your Elderly Parent

It is not easy to talk to your parent about making a change in their living environment when they belligerently refuse to move from their home and give up living alone. SeniorSafetyAdvice, an online information resource for seniors and their caregivers, offers some suggestions for discussing this touchy subject with your loved one:

  • Listen to your parent’s point of view. Treat them like an adult. Do not talk down to them as though they are children. Understand why they are so resistant. Are they simply afraid to move and fear they will be giving up control of their life? Give them time to consider your suggestions.
  • Give your parent a sense of control over deciding how the family will cope with the changes that need to be made. Don’t argue with them but be firm and calm. If possible, give them choices. For example, do they need grocery delivery, meals-on-wheels, or an in-home health aid? Do they need an assisted-living environment?
  • If they can be convinced to do so, include them in the research about what to do next. Will they need to move or is it more feasible to have a caregiver move in with them?
  • If moving seems like the only option, focus on the type of place that will meet their needs, not a place that you think would be wonderful for you if you were in their situation.
  • Be firm about discussing with them the potential consequences of them continuing to live alone.

Contact Beasley & Ferber for Assistance

After you’ve had your thoughtful discussion with your loved one, make an appointment with Beasley & Ferber. We are here to help with all things related to elder law and will discuss with you options for care for your elderly parent who can’t or should no longer live alone.

Long-term Care Planning: Medicare, Medicaid, and Insurance

Long-term care is something that people generally aren’t eager to think about. However, roughly 7 out of 10 people will require long-term care at some point during their lifetime. When the national average cost of a private room in a nursing facility is $9,034, older adults and families need to address long-term care in their financial and legal planning.

Long-term care is a general term that describes various care services that regular health insurance does not cover. It might include things like:

  • In-home assistance with routine daily activities (activities of daily living or ADLs)
  • Living in a nursing home or assisted living facility
  • Nursing care
  • Physical, occupational, or speech therapy

Because long-term care is not covered by health insurance, you need to make other plans to pay for it.

Does Medicare Cover Long-Term Care?

Medicare is a government-provided health insurance program for adults who are over the age of 65. It also covers some individuals with disabilities as well. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare does not depend on your income, assets, or disability status.

Adults who qualify pay for Medicare just as they would a private health insurance company. The main difference is that Medicare provides more extensive services and lower fees compared to the average private insurance company. In many cases, those receiving Medicare do not pay any insurance premiums at all for Medicare Part A, which provides hospital services.

Medicare Part A covers things like:

  • Care in a skilled nursing facility
  • Hospital stays
  • Hospice care
  • Some home healthcare

It does not cover more basic things that medical insurance might cover, such as doctors’ services, medical supplies, and preventive services.

Medicare also does not cover long-term care, including living in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

As a result, individuals and families cannot rely on Medicare to pay for the full cost of a nursing home or assisted living care. Instead, they need to make other arrangements to pay for long-term care.

Does Medicaid Cover Long-Term Care?

Medicaid might be an option to pay for long-term care in some situations. However, using it appropriately might require some long-term planning. In most circumstances, you will need at least five years to appropriately plan to use Medicaid for long-term care. Learn more about Medicaid planning by downloading our free e-book.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Neither regular health insurance nor Medicare addresses long-term care. So, how can individuals and families pay for long-term care? Long-term care insurance might be a good option.

Long-term care insurance is available from many private insurance companies. It generally covers expenses that Medicare will not cover. If you buy a policy under the age of 55, it is often more affordable than waiting until you are older.

Get Help with Long-Term Care Planning

You might also be able to tap into other resources to pay for long-term care, such as using investments or Veterans’ benefits. However, you need to have a full understanding of your options to plan appropriately.

Get help with long-term planning from the experienced elder law attorneys at Beasley & Ferber. We can help you review your options and make recommendations for your unique situation. Contact us today for more information.

Why It's Important to Have an Elder Professionally Diagnosed for Suspected Dementia

Dementia and, in particular Alzheimer’s Disease, get a lot of attention in the media. So much so, that when an elderly loved one starts to exhibit memory loss, dementia is the first thing that occurs to family members and close friends. This can be a misleading and dangerous thing to assume for many reasons. First, no one should be casually diagnosed with a medical condition without professional input. Second, it’s unfair to a person to be categorized with a condition when no such professional diagnosis has been made.

Important Differences Between Dementia and Age-Related Memory Loss

There are distinguishable differences between dementia and simple age-related memory loss that need to be understood. Dementia is a physical symptom of a physical condition. Alzheimer’s is just one disease that has dementia as its most prevalent symptom. Dementia is a disabling condition that progresses and worsens over time, often to the point where a person forgets who they are or who their family members are.

Age-related memory loss is something that happens to almost everyone over a long enough period of time. It is typically minor and not debilitating. People with age-related memory loss may repeat themselves, or forget why they came into a room, but they can usually still take care of themselves and recall earlier life events.

Dangers of Casually Diagnosing a Person With Dementia

When a person is casually diagnosed with dementia without having received a professional diagnosis, all sorts of estate planning problems can occur. The first one is the assumption that the person is not able to make sound choices about their estate. Later on, once the estate plan has been documented and executed, the person may balk at certain aspects that don’t align with their true wishes. Not only does this lead to family discord, but it also necessitates beginning the entire legal process over again, which is timely and costly.

Why a Professional Diagnosis is Essential

Establishing diminished mental ability is essential before a family member or anyone else can legally make decisions on behalf of someone else. In most cases, a court order is also needed. There is a great deal of grey area around estate planning for those with dementia, and that grey area is even bigger if a person attempts it without first having a professional diagnosis. If the professional diagnosis comes back with unexpected results, the plan could be negated. If the diagnosis affirms the suspected dementia, then the estate plan needs to be organized in such a way as to accommodate the expected increased needs of the dementia patient. Either way, it’s not just prudent to get the professional diagnosis first; it’s essential.

The very fact that family members are concerned about a loved one’s mental state is often a good sign that they have that person’s welfare in the right perspective. Working with an established elder law attorney in New Hampshire can help to ensure that the loved one’s estate is properly planned. Contact Beasley & Ferber today for more information.

Strategies to Protect Your Inheritance From Divorce

No one plans on getting divorced and it’s easy to be complacent about protecting your assets before marriage. Unfortunately, divorce is a sad reality of modern life, and you need to be proactive about making sure you get to keep what’s rightfully yours after divorce. There are many complexities involved with how assets are divided up in a divorce, which is why you should seek the advice of an estate planning attorney such as Beasley & Ferber. In the meantime, here are some strategies to know about that can help protect your inheritance from divorce.

Avoid Commingling Inheritance

Many couples consider it a sign of trust to have joint accounts and to have the attitude of, “what’s mine is yours.” In general, that’s an admirable and generous way of looking at things. However, when it comes to inherited assets, the smart thing to do is to avoid commingling. Commingling is when you mix up assets in joint accounts, pay a credit card bill from a mix of a marital asset account and an inherited asset account, deposit a marital asset check into an inherited asset account, or vice versa, and more. There are many “accidental” ways to commingle marital assets with inherited assets. The best way to avoid doing it is to consult with an attorney who specializes in these matters.

Have the Prenup Drawn Up This Way

When you meet with your estate planning attorney, have a prenup drawn up. Ask that the prenup specifically exclude your inherited assets against any possible future divorce. You may be able to have language in the prenup that specifies existing or future inheritance. This might be helpful in the event that you anticipate receiving an inheritance anytime after your wedding date.

Save All Documentation

Make sure that you save all documentation relating to your inheritance. This includes things like wills, trust paperwork, buys and sells, investment statements, bank statements, etc. When relevant and possible, keep the originals instead of converting them into digital files. In the event that your inherited assets are disputed during a divorce, the originals will bear more weight.

Establish a Special Trust

To protect and preserve your inheritance, create a trust. Because they are a great tool to protect assets, trusts are often utilized in estate planning. You may be confident that your inheritance will stay separate from your marital assets by putting it into a special trust. You and your estate planning attorney should set up the trust so it names yourself or your children as the beneficiary, rather than your spouse.

Whether this is your first marriage, second, or even third, it pays to give extra attention to protecting your inherited assets from a divorcing spouse. Remember, if you choose to do so, you can always concede assets as part of your divorce decree. However, using these strategies makes the decision yours and not the right of an estranged spouse. For assistance protecting your inheritance from divorce, contact Beasley & Ferber, expert estate planning attorneys in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.


5 Signs of Elder Abuse to Watch For

When you put your elderly loved one in the care of a facility, you expect them to be looked after. But one in 10 people aged 60 and over in the U.S. has experienced some type of elder abuse, according to the National Council on Aging. You can help your loved one by paying attention to the following five telltale signs.

1. Becoming Unusually Quiet

During visits with your elderly loved one, do they become unusually quiet when a caregiver enters the room? Often, an elderly person will react instinctively when they are afraid of someone. This may include suddenly stopping in the middle of a sentence, or refusing to answer your questions when an abusive caregiver is present. When that person has left, your loved one may become their usual chatty self.

2. Unwarranted Anger

Often, the elderly will lay blame for abuse on their loved one’s shoulders, especially if they feel that it’s this person’s “fault” they are there in the first place. If you sense unwarranted hostility during visits, don’t assume it’s just because of old age or senility. It could be that they are reacting to feelings of anger and frustration over being treated poorly by those who are supposed to be caring for them.

3. Sudden Decline in Health

Elder abuse doesn’t always take the form of physical or verbal abuse. It can also come in a more passive form of withholding care. This sometimes means that an elderly person isn’t given their medications or isn’t given them on the correct schedule. If you notice a sudden or progressive decline in health, don’t accept it at face value. It could be that their doctor’s orders aren’t being followed. Any deterioration in health should be followed up with a visit to your elderly loved one’s personal physician—not just the care facility’s doctor. An independent assessment by a doctor who is not associated with the care facility can determine whether a lack of care and/or medication might be the cause.

4. Uncleanliness in the Room

When you visit, pay attention to the condition of the room and the things that your loved one uses. Are the sheets and pillowcases clean? Is there clean water within reach? Is the room tidy? Is the toilet clean? If the care facility isn’t taking care of the physical room, it’s likely that they aren’t taking care of your loved one, either.

5. Lack of Eye Contact

When elder abuse is happening in a care facility, human nature often means that the staff will be hesitant to make eye contact with visiting relatives. It’s the inside guilt that makes this phenomenon happen. A lack of eye contact can mean nothing, or it can mean that they have something to hide.

When trying to determine if elder abuse is happening, consider a group of signs, not just one. One sign might just be an oversight, but if you notice multiple signs, it’s worth consulting with an elder law attorney to determine the best steps to take. Contact Beasley & Ferber for help.

How to Approach End-of-Life Care Discussions

Talking to a loved one about end-of-life care is one of the hardest discussions to have. Whether it’s your elderly parents, an older relative, or someone else dear to your heart, it can feel cold and callous to broach the subject of the end of their life. Ironically, it’s because you love them so much that you need and want to have the talk in the first place. Your elderly law attorneys at Beasley & Ferber have these tips to help you with this arduous task.

Choose Your Time and Setting

Choose an appropriate time and setting that supports both you and your elderly loved one’s needs and privacy. Avoid bringing up the topic at breakfast or too close to bedtime, when people might be tired. Choose a quiet place, away from the public eye. Avoid having it in a restaurant or in a doctor’s lobby, for instance.

Be Patient

Don’t be surprised if your loved one resists the talk the first time you bring it up. Some people just need more time to process actually saying things like this “out loud.” Be patient and don’t push. When you see them next, you might just ask, “Have you given any more thought to our conversation about care last week?” or something similar.

Consider Who Should be Part of the Discussion

Don’t feel that you need to have this discussion all by yourself. Consider inviting siblings or a trusted family member. Only do so with the permission of your elderly loved one, however.

Don’t be Condescending

Everyone passes away, and it’s almost guaranteed that, as awkward as it may feel to broach the topic, your elderly loved one has already thought about their own passing. Avoid using placating words or a tone that sounds like you’re talking to a child. Approach it like two adults having an important conversation about life events.

Start With Yourself

Many people find that it’s quite helpful to start the conversation by mentioning what you would want to happen when you yourself become elderly. Then it’s a natural step to ask your loved one if they have thought about end-of-life care. From there, you can suggest writing things down on a notepad and making some preliminary plans.

Keep Things Light

It’s natural that this discussion will feel heavy and dark. But feel free to add some levity if it feels appropriate. Depending upon your relationship, some smiles might help to keep things from becoming too maudlin.

Have Some Ideas in Mind

It’s helpful to gather some information ahead of time so you can help to guide the discussion. This is good for—not forcing a set of circumstances—but assuring your elderly loved ones that they are in capable hands. One very helpful suggestion that you can make is to take your notes to an experienced elderly law attorney who knows how to help with all things associated with end-of-life care, such as Beasley & Ferber.

Contact Beasley & Ferber

After you’ve had your thoughtful discussion with your loved one, make an appointment with Beasley & Ferber. We are here to help with all things related to elder law, including end-of-life care plans.

How to Prevent Financial Elder Abuse

The Elder Financial Protection Organization (EFPO) reports that financial abuse is the “largest form of elder abuse, and it is growing.” The short definition of elder financial abuse is “Misappropriation of an older person’s money or property.”

Sadly, the most frequent perpetrators are those the elder one trusts, such as caregivers, friends, and family members. If you are concerned about a loved one being financially abused, there are some signs to watch for.

Signs Someone You Love is Being Financially Abused by a Relative or Caregiver

Some signs that your loved one is being financially abused include:

  • A relative has moved in with your loved one to “help out.” You then notice the loved one is becoming isolated and interactions with other loved ones are being limited.
  • The relative who is “helping out” has quit their job, bought a new car, or any other sign that there has been a change in lifestyle or that the person is spending more money than they did in the past.
  • When the “helper” allows you to visit, your loved one is withdrawn and may appear unkempt. You sense that the basic life necessities are not being provided for.
  • Routine bills, like rent, mortgage, and utility bills, are not being paid for even though you know your loved one has the funds to pay them.

A “do-gooder” may offer to go to the grocery store for the elderly person who doesn’t notice that the grocery bill was much higher than it should be for the items that were requested.

If the do-gooder helps pay bills or stops at the bank to cash a check, when the elderly person is checking the bank statement later, they may just say to themselves that they are getting forgetful since they don’t remember withdrawing that much money.

How to Protect Yourself from Financial Abuse

You can take some specific steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of financial abuse. Some examples are:

  • Have direct deposit for all your benefit checks. If you send someone to deposit your checks, it gives them the opportunity to get cash back without you even being aware of it.
  • Have your bank automatically pay your routine bills.
  • Do not allow one family member to isolate you from other family members and friends.
  • Open your own mail.
  • Have your own attorney draw up a power of attorney so you can designate someone you know you can trust to deal with your finances when you are unable to deal with them yourself. Review the document periodically to be sure it still reflects your wishes.
  • Do not sign any document presented to you by anyone without carefully reviewing it and asking for independent advice.

Contact Us for Assistance with Elder Financial Abuse

If you or someone you care about has been the victim of elder financial abuse, contact us at Beasley & Ferber. We provide the best available resources to protect our clients from abuse and to help them prepare for their financial future. You may contact us online or call us at 800-370-5010.


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