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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Elderly / What is Elder Financial Abuse?

What is Elder Financial Abuse?


Are you concerned about your elderly loved one being exposed to potential financial abuse? Elder financial abuse has a broad reach across not just Virginia but all over the country. There are three big reasons why the elderly are often targeted: cognitive and physical changes associated with aging, dependency on other people, and the volume of assets that some elderly people accumulate in their older years.

At the end of 2017, retirement assets in the U.S. for people over age 65 and above were $28.2 trillion. This means that many older people could be targeted as victims of elder abuse.

Unauthorized or illegal acts to deprive an older person of their money or other assets could be defined as elder abuse. Using the resources of an older person for personal gain or profit could mean that the assets your loved ones has worked so hard to build could be decimated.

Financial abuse affecting elderly people can include procuring a power of attorney through fraud or engaging in practices that provide unauthorized access to an older person’s assets. It’s believed that senior citizens lose about $3 billion per year as a result of elder abuse.

Elders most likely to suffer financial abuse include those living in long term care facilities, those who have lost a spouse recently when that spouse handled the finances, and seniors who rely on others for personal care.

Protecting your loved ones from elder abuse begins with the right estate planning documents. Contact the office of a Virginia Beach estate planning attorney today.

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