June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month

  • Elder Law
june is elder abuse awareness month | estate and probate legal group

Our elderly population is often the most vulnerable – it is up to all of us to protect and take care of them. June is elder abuse awareness month and an excellent time to remind us to watch for signs of elder abuse.

Elder abuse doesn’t only mean physical abuse but also financial abuse.

Financial Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is defined as an action, or inaction, that creates harm or significant risk of harm for someone age 60 or older. They can be financially exploited by friends, family members, or caregivers. Financial abuse can also be emotionally devastating. People can become depressed or anxious after someone has taken financial advantage of them.

Financial abuse can be as extensive as taking their 401k or house or as small as stealing a couple of dollars here and there. Here are some examples of financial elder abuse:

  • taking money from their wallet or purse
  • telemarketing fraud
  • intercepting cash or checks
  • pressuring them to assign power of attorney
  • befriend them for lavish gifts

But how do you know for sure if someone is taking advantage of an elder? Financial abuse can be harder to spot since there are no physical injuries. But there are some warning and tell-tale signs.

  • unexplained financial loss
  • items or cash missing
  • significant withdrawals from their bank account
  • additional names on their bank account or debit card
  • unpaid bills, even though there is plenty of money

Working with an Estate Planning Attorney to Avoid Elder Abuse

Whether you are planning for your safety as you grow older, or protecting someone you love, an estate planning attorney can help protect against elder abuse. You can set up adult guardianship if your parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

When a person cannot care for themself, adult guardianship is the legal process of appointing someone to act on their behalf. This person can make daily, financial and medical decisions for this person. This will help you protect your elders from financial abuse.

Cook County Estate Planning Attorneys

If you have concerns that a loved one may be a victim of elder abuse and want to protect them with adult guardianship, we can help. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you understand the legal process.

We can represent you in court, suggest alternatives to guardianship, or provide other assistance as you seek to protect you and your loved one’s legal rights. To set up an initial meeting, contact the estate planning and elder law attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group today at 630-864-5835. 

We serve: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.