For some time now American society has shifted away from multiple generations of families living in close proximity to one another. Instead, it is more and more common for adult children and grandchildren to live far away from their parents or grandparents. If you are in this situation, you will know that this geographic disparity is one thing that may make it hard for you to make sure your parent or grandparent is safe at all times.
AARP explains that becoming isolated is one factor that may increase an older person's chance of being financially exploited or abuse. When an older person is alone and away from family, they may be more apt to trust a stranger and let that person have access to their financial information so that they have companionship and feel cared for. Other risk factors include an increasing level of cognitive functioning problems such as diminishing memory and the lack of financial savvy.
It is even possible that a relative living nearby may be the person who ends up financially abusing your parent or grandparent, taking what should be your inheritance for themselves. Regular check-ins with relatives should focus on their health and safety but also on their business, financial and estate planning matters so as to proactively notice any unusual changes.
If you would like to learn more about the situations that may increase a person's chance of being financially exploited by someone else, please feel free to visit the elder financial abuse page of our Washington estate planning and will dispute website.