Take Notice how you Can Prevent, Detect, and Report the Financial Abuse of the Elderly and Aging

Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., NJ Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Lawyer

As the New Jersey economy worsens, examples of elder financial abuse are on the increase. The aging are vulnerable to scams and financial exploitation by family members in need of money.

Up to one million elderly Americans may be targeted yearly. Family members and caregivers are the perpetrators in 60% of cases, although financial losses are higher with investment fraud scams.

While no one can guarantee that a loved one is not the victim of financial abuse, there are some definite steps you can take to minimize the chances. One suggestion is to have more than one family member involved in caring for the loved one. Using a direct deposit is also helpful.  And of course you should always screen caregivers and verify references.

Financial abuse and exploitation can be very hard to detect.  Here are some signs that Fredrick P. Niemann has found to exist in elder abuse cases he has handled:

• The disappearance of valuable objects, especially valuable objects
• Large amounts of money are taken out, checks are made payable to cash, or consistent low bank balances even after regular  deposits
• A new “best friend” and isolation from other friends and family
• Large and unusual credit card transactions
• Signatures on persons checks look different or are inconsistent
• A name is added to a bank account or a joint bank account is created
• Indications of fear of caregivers

If you suspect someone of being financially abused, there are several actions you can take:

• Make a report by calling your County Adult Protective Services and/or the NJ Office of the Ombudsman for the Elderly.  File a police report if you believe the facts support a crime.
• Explore legal options with a qualified financial abuse of the elderly attorney.  In New Jersey, the Chancery Court is  available to address alleged legal abuse. The court can intervene if someone in the family is misusing a power of attorney or  their role as guardian or conservator.
• Contact advocacy organizations. The National Center on Elder Abuse offers guidance on how to investigate and seek justice  for elder abuse. New Jersey law has remedies available to deal with the situation and you may be able to get restitution for  breach of fiduciary duties.
• Try to get a temporary restraining order from a court while building your case.  Again, speak to a qualified elder law  attorney.

If you have any questions regarding an elder law and financial abuse, contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll free at 888-800-7442, or e mail him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com/.  He is very experienced in these types of matters.  For further information, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/NJElderLawCenter#p/search/0/J2tM8-rqg8I to learn more.

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