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Many different things make seniors financial abuse targets

When a person is in their elderly years, their financial state is generally very important, as it can affect things such as their quality of life in retirement and their ability to get proper medical care for health issues that arise for them down the line. There are many things out there that could substantially weaken a senior's financial state. One such thing is financial abuse.

Unfortunately, seniors are increasingly finding themselves the target of financial exploitation. There are a variety of different reasons why elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable to being targeted for financial abuse. A recent Huffington Post article went over some of these reasons, including:

  • The fact that some individuals experience substantial diminishments in mental capacity in their elderly years.
  • The fact that elderly individuals, generally, have a lower likelihood of reporting financial abuse committed against them.
  • The major focus older generations put on politeness when dealing with others.
  • The high level of willingness elderly individuals may have to take chances when they believe it could help them stay healthy.
  • The high concentration of wealth among elderly individuals.

Given that many different factors play a role in elderly individuals generally being at risk of being targeted for financial exploitation, there are many different things that could impact how vulnerable a particular senior is to financial abuse, as elderly individuals can vary considerably when it comes to the different risk factors. For example, one senior's mental capacity can be very different from another's.

What steps are appropriate for protecting an elderly individual's financial state here in Texas can vary based on how vulnerable the senior is to financial abuse. For elderly individuals more at risk of such abuse, steps beyond the typically recommended vigilance among family members may be needed. For example, when a senior's mental capacity is so diminished that they are unable to protect their financial state, seeking a guardianship of the estate may be worth considering. Now, seeking such a guardianship for an elderly loved one is a big step that is not appropriate for all situations. Thus, individuals who have questions about whether an elderly loved one might need a guardianship of the estate to be properly protected from financial exploitation should seek out the advice of an experienced guardianship attorney.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Have Our Parents Become Targets for Financial Abuse?," Robert Mauterstock, Oct. 5, 2015

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