Elder financial abuse involves the misuse of an elderly persons’s money, credit or property. Unfortunately, this is a growing and often unreported problem.
Fortunately, there are resources available to fight elder abuse. One is the statewide criminal referral hotline, found on the elder justice website of the New Jersey courts. Additional information and resources are available online at https://www.njcourts.gov/public/elder-justice.html.
Financial professionals, in particular, should remain alert for behavioral red flags of elder financial abuse. These can include:
- new contact information for a financial account (address, email, or telephone)
- unusual purchases or withdrawals on the account of someone who is cognitively impaired
- an elderly person who seems withdrawn, anxious or afraid
- an elderly person who cannot answer simple questions about her account activity
- someone new taking great interest in the finances of an elderly person
- repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact an elderly account holder
- someone without proper identification trying to help an elderly person with bank or brokerage transactions
More information is contained in a government report to financial institutions found online at https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/advisory/2022-06-15/FinCEN%20Advisory%20Elder%20Financial%20Exploitation%20FINAL%20508.pd.
What to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse.
Your legal recourse may include criminal or civil prosecution, revoking a power of attorney, executing a new power of attorney and/or a guardianship or conservatorship. For strategies and solutions for your unique situation, contact Archer Brogan, LLP at https://archerbrogan.com