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How can I protect a family member against fraud?

Elderly people are often a target of frauds and scams. Unfortunately, if your relative falls victim to such a scam there can be little to do to get back any money lost, which can get in the way of financial matters like estate planning. There are steps you can take to protect your loved one however, as explained by AARP.

Watch out for nefarious family members

Threats can sometimes originate within your very own family. In this case, be on the lookout for adult children or even spouses with unlimited control over your loved one’s finances. Changes in financial status, such as driving a fancy new car all of the sudden, may indicate that this person is using your relative’s money or good-standing to acquire loans.

Be careful with repairs and maintenance

Some building contractors will target the elderly due to the belief that these people can be easily tricked. This can result in being charged for unnecessary repairs or overcharging of services rendered. If your loved one is experiencing cognitive issues, make sure he or she has a representative when dealing with contractors or other professionals providing a service. Also, make sure your family member is caution about talking with strangers unsolicited, which often indicates a scam is taking place.

Be wary of lapses in judgment

Declining mental faculties can also get in the way of financial stability. This may result in a person taking money out of the bank without remembering or making purchases for unnecessary items. To prevent financial instability, make sure the person has a reliable representative in the event of mental incapacity. This assistance should extend to estate planning documents like wills and trusts, which may need to be updated to accommodate new decisions. 

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