Financial Elder Abuse

Financial Elder Abuse Is…

Using an older adult’s money or assets (pension, home, social security checks) contrary to their wishes, needs or best interests, or for the abuser’s personal gain.

Undue influence is when a person of trust manipulates and takes advantage of a vulnerable elder to gain control of money, property or life—either directly or through power of attorney, trust, marriage, adoption, or inheritance.

Signs Of Financial Elder Abuse Are…

  • Changes of trusts, wills, deeds for the benefit of the abuser
  • Large purchases for the abuser’s benefit
  • Inappropriate financial reimbursement for services to the older adult victim
  • Caregiver “living off” the older adult

If You Suspect Financial Elder Abuse, Ask…

  • What is the victim’s understanding of their financial situation?
  • Do they have a durable power of attorney? If so, can you see it? Who is named as having power of attorney for the older adult? (Take a copy or a picture!)
  • Is the person having power of attorney for the older adult abusing their authority?
  • Is the older adult’s money being used for their care?
  • Who pays the bills?

If You Suspect Financial Elder Abuse…

  • Use the First Responder Checklist to document whether there have been any missing funds, sudden changes in a will, or new credit card applications. Also make note of the victim’s overall level of independence and functioning.
  • Collect Power of Attorney (POA) documents for finances and any other relevant financial documents available on-scene.
  • Multiple types of elder abuse may be present. Explore and document the possibility of other types of abuse.