How can you protect your elderly parents from financial abuse? Have you ever thought about it? According to a recent study by the Investor Protection Trust and Investor Protection Institute, the top three ways that the elderly could be financially exploited are:
Theft of funds or property by family members
Theft of funds or property by caregivers
Financial scams by strangers
It is estimated that one in nine seniors has been a victim of financial abuse in the past year, so what can you do to protect elderly parents from financial fraud? Here are some tips:
Seek out a financial abuse prevention seminar in your local area. Many senior centers and organizations provide these programs, so choose one and go with your parent(s) as an opportunity to do something social with them. Put your parents’ finances on auto-pilot by enrolling them in direct deposit for Social Security, pension, retirement and investment income.
Set up automatic bill pay for as many bills as possible, and help them pay their bills online.
Check in with them frequently and ask them directly if they have been solicited by anyone who visited or called. If you live nearby, visit in person. Some experts advise those with elderly parents who become incapable of handling investments to invest a portion of their retirement income into a low-cost, immediate-fixed or inflation-adjusted annuity from a reputable insurance company. This will provide a guaranteed lifetime income that cannot be lost to fraud or abuse. If a parent’s savings are still in their former employer’s 401(k) plan, consider keeping it there.
To learn more make your appointment with Pierchoski Estate Law. Call 931-363.7222.
A Note from the Attorney, Stan Pierchoski:
The practice of law is a second career for me. After obtaining Master of Science degrees in both Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering, I worked in the Nuclear Power Industry for 15 years. Always having an interest in law, I attended and graduated from law school and founded the Pierchoski Law Firm in 2002 in Pulaski, TN. For several years I practiced as a criminal defense, trial attorney. After my parents passed I became interested in Trust and Estate Law and felt a strong calling to change my practice to the Estate Planning area.
For years I have been exclusively doing trust writing and wealth planning and have become proficient at it. Over the last several years my practice has evolved to serve all age groups including elders and Medicaid Planning. I am always open to your questions and am more than happy to chat with you about your concerns so give me a call or stop by my office. You’ll be glad you did!