A New York study concluded that only 1 in 44 cases of elder financial abuse is reported. One reason? The sad truth is that many cases of elder abuse occur in families. Some kids are under the unfortunate misimpression that they’re ENTITLED to their parents’ money. If Mom or Dad suffers from dementia, they may be even more vulnerable. Perhaps Johnny lives near his mom, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. He visits and helps out more than his siblings, and he’s having trouble paying his own bills. He’s mentioned in the will, so what’s the problem if he gets his fair share a little early?
Bottom line? Stealing is stealing, whether it involves a stranger or a trusted caregiver—including a relative. Most family members are good people, and would never commit financial abuse. But Johnny should be held responsible if he takes money or valuables without his mother’s permission. Is there a solution? Keep an eye on your assets. Understand that no one, not even a relative, has the right to intimidate you as to how you handle your money or your estate. And consider having someone designated as your advocate to keep an eye on your financial accounts. EverSafe encourages members to sign up at least one trusted family member, friend, or professional who can be given “read-only” access to your account statements.
Because relatives don’t let relatives steal from Grandma.