Question

How do I protect my mother's financial assets from irresponsible or abusive relatives?

 

Answer 

Contacting the bank sounds like a good idea. Your mother may need to be present, as it is her account. You may want to be added to her accounts or she can appoint you as her "Power of Attorney".

 

 

Many states have laws in place to protect their senior residents. Elder financial abuse and exploitation are not taken lightly, and often come with higher criminal penalties. If there is imminent danger to your mother, 911 is always the first course of action. Theft of any kind should be reported to law enforcement. You may find helpful information through your state's Adult Protective Services, and any local or state social services agencies. Your state should also have an elder abuse hotline that you can find through the National Center on Elder Abuse (https://ncea.acl.gov)

 

The bank should be made aware of this situation ASAP, whether it is through the authorities or through you. Just please know that the bank will probably not speak with you about much detail unless your name is on the account or your mother designated you as her agent.

Comments

As I understand conservatorships, they are put in place via a court venue when a person is incompatent for one reason or another and when families are fighting over assests, is this true>

 

 I heard that most court appointed conservatorships are not regulated by the state or the federal government.   Who is the watchdog for conservators?  Are conservators subject to outside independant audits? How can we be sure these conservators are managing the assests of an incapacited person correctly and making decisions with that are in that persons best interest?  

 

I am going through this issue as well. Mom is competent mentally, but not with finances, and is subject to Undue Influence from her live-in adult grandchild who has abused Mom's credit card, and also used our deceased father's credit card for over a year. Getting a conservatorship is expensive, and may not be possible if the person is mentally competent.

 

Getting information is not easy. APS reports have been filed. Bank and credit cards are notified. Neither has a responsibility to report back to the family - so no idea if anything is being done or looked into. 

 

Mom will not speak against the adult grandchild, nor can we kick them out without alienating Mom. Mom is still paying off over $49,000 of credit charges made by grandchild, but that is only a small portion of the financial abuse. 

 

This is a hard road. I've met too many others with similar challenges. There is crime, but getting the information and being able to get justice is a maze of challenges and expenses. 

 

I am asking AARP to bring more articles on Undue influence, and Financial Elder Abuse in process into their publications. Not only does the crime affect a parent, it affects their family who want to help, but don't want to go broke doing it. 

 

 

 

 

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