Elderly individuals in New Jersey and across the country are often victims of financial abuse. While many want to believe that scam artists are fully behind this, the sad reality is sometimes family members and friends may take advantage of elderly individuals too. An elder law attorney may be able to help those who feel that their loved ones are being financially abused.
What is the definition of elder financial abuse? In short, it is using fraudulent, illegal or improper acts to take the monetary resources of an elderly individual for one’s own use or benefit. There are a number of ways to do this. Telemarketers and scammers often convince elderly individuals to give out personal information, which is then used to access bank accounts or charge credit cards. Family members may also convince their elderly loved ones to hand over money or other assets, or they may use power of attorneys or guardianships to take control of the assets.
What laws protect elders from financial abuse? The Elder Justice Act allows state and federal agencies to take action when elder financial abuse is suspected. Other state-specific laws exist to allow for the investigation and prosecution of such abuse cases.
Those who suspect that they or their loved ones are victims of elder financial abuse do not have to sit by and let it continue. Authorities can be called and action taken. Those in New Jersey who want to take steps to protect themselves or loved ones from elder financial abuse can turn to an elder law attorney for information on what legal protections may be available to them.