While it may seem natural to help an older relative, neighbor, or friend with his or her finances, you must be cautious about the help that you offer. It may be easy to write a few checks or order something online for your neighbor, but it is not without risk. If you are not careful, you could end up being accused of misappropriating funds or helping the elderly individual for your own gain. Unfortunately, accusations of financial abuse of elderly individuals have become a regular occurrence, and some of them are true.
Fortunately, by taking a few simple precautions, you can avoid being accused of misappropriating an elderly person’s funds, and still ensure that your loved one is getting the financial help that he or she needs.
- Determine whether what you are being asked is truly simple. It may be that the senior citizen already has been having difficulties with finances by paying bills twice or failing to pay other bills. If this is the case, you may need to alert the appropriate relatives to get the financial help that is needed.
- Consider whether the individual is still able to actively participate in his or her own finances.
- Determine whether you are the best and geographically closest person to handle the individual’s finances.
- Consider whether you have adequate time to properly handle what you are being asked to do.
If your loved one simply needs help sorting and organizing bills, or someone to advocate on his or her behalf with an insurance company, it is a relatively easy task to accomplish. However, if you are going to completely handle another’s finances, then you may want to look into getting a power of attorney that gives you the legal authority to do so.
There are many different types of abuse or neglect that can occur to residents in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and private homes, including financial abuse. The Wisconsin elder abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan have handled countless claims on behalf of nursing home residents who have suffered serious injuries and even death due to the negligent behavior of nursing home staff and facilities, regardless of the type of abuse or neglect involved. When a serious injury or death of a loved one occurs, we know just how devastating it can be, and how powerless you are likely to feel as a result. Allow your family to begin the healing process from this traumatic event by holding the wrongdoers responsible for your loved one’s injuries. Contact our office today and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.