January 9, 2013 § Leave a comment
Many elderly persons rely entirely on their children, family members or other trusted individuals to help them. This dependence upon caregivers or family members makes an older person more vulnerable to abuse and financial exploitation. Legal arrangements and protective actions by family may be necessary to shield loved ones from making bad decisions or from being taken advantage of. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 5, 2012 § 3 Comments
With the real estate market continuing to decline, homeowners are faced with the discouraging reality that their home has significantly lost value and many struggle with the fact that they now owe more than their home is worth. To make a bad situation worse, there are some con artists that are using the opportunity to take advantage of elderly homeowners.
“Current real estate market conditions have opened the doors for financial elder abuse by obtaining property through undue influence or fraud,” says Elizabeth Ernster, an attorney with Ernster Law Offices, P.C., in Pasadena, California (www.ernsterlaw.com). “The unfortunate reality is that many seniors are being swindled by real estate agents who have convinced them into selling their home for less than its market value, and then making a large profit off the sale.” « Read the rest of this entry »
October 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
Unfortunately we have noticed a couple recent posts on Facebook about our friends’ elderly relatives being swindled. The most recent post involved an elderly woman who lives in an assisted living facility. She received a call from a person claiming to be her granddaughter. The girl said she had been arrested in Mexico because she was caught with marijuana. The caller begged “Grandma” to help and not tell her parents about the situation. She said she needed Grandma to wire $3900 right away so she could be released from jail. The Grandma did as she was asked. Once the money had been wired, the girl called back within hours and said she needed another $2500. Luckily before Grandma could send the second installment, her son arrived and stopped her.
Of course this is just one of many scams that thieves use to target the elderly. A popular con that occurs after a storm or natural disaster is carried out by crooks commonly called “storm chasers” because they sweep into an affected area after a storm to try and bilk unsuspecting homeowners. Many times these men ask for upfront money, promise a quick repair and then disappear. Avoid this type of scam by checking the Better Business Bureau, get proof of a contractor’s license and workers compensation insurance and get everything in writing (estimates, materials, prices and completion dates).
Another way to steer clear of many phone scams is to avoid answering calls from area code 876. This code appears to be in the U.S. but it is actually from Jamaica. According to the AARP, “Approximately 30,000 calls are made from Jamaica into the United States – each day – attempting to defraud American citizens.”
Many times calls from 876 will tell the person who answers the phone that they have won a lottery prize and all they need to do to claim their prize is to pay the tax on the prize through a wire transfer. It is important to remind elderly loved ones to not answer calls with an 876 area code, but also remind them that they should never have to pay money for a prize they haven’t received yet.
If you do find yourself or loved one has been duped by a con, your first step should be to contact the police department. Unfortunately if the money was paid in cash or wired, it is highly unlikely it will be recovered. If in the process of the scam you released bank or credit card information, you will need to contact the appropriate bank or card provider to have a hold placed on the account. You may also want to contact a lawyer in case of potential identity theft.
Remember education is the best way to prevent becoming victim of a scam.
The Legacy Law Firm, LLC is located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients. The office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
When living at home becomes a danger for your parent, deciding where your loved one should move is heart wrenching. Unfortunately, that is only half the battle because once the parent moves, then family is faced with another hefty decision of what to do with the vacated home. It can be tough because many times the home in question has been in the family for many years and there is likely sentimental attachments for the parent as well as the children. Now add on the extra burden of having to sell a home in a down market and the decision just gets more complicated. « Read the rest of this entry »
May 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
If we were to ask an someone what their most important concerns for aging are, we might get answers like maintaining good health, retaining independence and having enough money.
To address these concerns or wishes and maintain the quality of life wanted in your elder years, it is necessary to do some preplanning. While many of us prepare for unexpected happenings by purchasing health or property insurance, there is one often overlooked life event that many people overlook and that is the need for long term care in our later years. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Weekly Law Blog
Ideally, we would all like to leave our heirs a trouble-free inheritance, which is why some people create a living trust. One of the main reasons seniors choose a living trust is because it is touted as a way to avoid the time and expense of probate when leaving property to heirs. When going through probate, it can take months before your heirs receive any inheritance. And, if you have property in another state, your heirs will have to wait for probate in that state as well! « Read the rest of this entry »
January 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
Many times my blog talks about end-of-life scenarios, and I try to give advice to readers on how to cope with an elderly parent and the care issues that may accompany. While it is important to make sure your aging relative has their affairs in order, it is also good advice for any adult. « Read the rest of this entry »