In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois and Missouri Elder Law attorney, discusses elder abuse and how to spot a potential elder financial abuser
Hi, I am Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, with offices in O’Fallon, Illinois and the the Westport area in St. Louis, serving people throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos on ways that we can help you and you can also help to prevent or minimize financial abuse of elders. What I want to talk about today are things that we look for and you can look for, that are danger signs that someone is a potential perpetrator of elder financial abuse.
First big thing we look at is if somebody’s status has been elevated quickly from being a stranger or someone who is new in a persons life, to now they are their lover or their best friend. Usually that’s a sign that somebody is a gold digger. Second thing that we look for is if we have the person who has gotten close experiencing their own financial difficulties. People who are experiencing financial difficulties need money, and they get desperate in finding out ways to get it. Another thing that we look at is if that person has substance abuse problems – If they have a drug problem, if they have a drinking problem. Because again, they need money to feed their habit and elders are often unfortunately convenient victims.
Couple other things that we look for though: If we have someone who comes in with the elder to attend a meeting and they are pushy or bossy to the elder (and) tell them, “no, you sit here,” “no, I’ll answer that for you,” or finish their sentences, correct them, give them (the non-legal expression) the stink-eye when they’re looking at them. People who are abusive generally, often tend to be abusive financially.
Finally, if you will, this is what I would call the “good apple turned bad,” Caregiver resentment: We have somebody that’s been caring for an elder, even a parent, for a while and feels like they haven’t gotten anything for it, they’ve never been thanked, they’ve never been compensated, not even reimbursed for their mileage for running that person around or providing them food. So, they self-justify the idea, “Hey, I’m not going to get anything from this person voluntarily. I’ll to take it.”
All of those are things you can look for, spot, and there are things that can be done to head them off. Let’s make this a team effort and let’s limit elder financial abuse.
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 or (314) 567-9292, or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.