How Seniors Can Prevent Fraud When Handling Their Estate Planning

Did you know estate planning can help prevent fraud? Unfortunately, the elderly can be vulnerable to scams. Caregivers, fiduciaries, or even family members can take advantage of seniors through financial exploitation.

To protect themselves and their assets, seniors must establish an estate plan with a trusted attorney.

What Are Common Types of Elderly Fraud?

Elderly people can be exploited in a variety of ways. Because many seniors are less familiar with technology, they can fall victim to a lot of scams involving phones and computers.

Some of the most common types of elderly exploitation include:

· A family member who is controlling their finances or estate.

· Theft from a family member or caregiver who has access to their home or assets.

· Investment scams or selling fake products or services.

· Falsely claiming they won a sweepstakes, and then asking for their personal or financial data.

· Tax and debt collection scams trying to get them to give them money.

· Computer, internet, or email scams getting them to give personal or financial information.

How an Estate Plan Can Protect Seniors Against Fraud

While elderly individuals can be vulnerable to scams and fraud, establishing an estate plan with a trusted attorney can protect them and prevent fraud.

There are several different steps you need to take to offer more layers of protection.

First, you should establish a revocable living trust. This is a legal document that gives a named person the right to make decisions about your money and estate if you are incapacitated or dead. Setting up a revocable living trust prevents fraud by making it more difficult for strangers to take advantage of you. This is also beneficial as it protects you after your death, and allows your beneficiaries to avoid probate.

You should also set up a power of attorney. This allows you to name someone to make decisions on your behalf regarding financial and legal issues if you are not able to make them on your own. By naming someone you trust, you can prevent fraud while ensuring your wishes will be carried out.

You can also designate a guardian. For seniors, a guardian is someone who can legally care for you and make decisions for you if you are incapacitated. This can be the same person as your power of attorney. In some cases, attorneys will set them both up at the same time to ensure you are covered.

It’s essential to put a lot of thought into who you name as your power of attorney or guardian. To prevent fraud and/or them from taking advantage of you, you need to select someone you can trust. Some steps to take when naming a person are:

· Make sure it’s a person who knows your wishes and is willing to carry them out.

· Ensure they can manage their own money and estate correctly.

· Tell others of your wishes so they can keep the person in check and verify your estate is being taken care of.

· If your relationship with a person changes, you can change your power of attorney.

Why Hire Us for Estate Planning Help

Protect your assets and avoid elderly fraud by setting up an estate plan with an estate planning attorney. Hire our attorneys at Johnstone Adams LLC to help you.

Ranked in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.

To get started, contact us at 251-319-4659 or

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