Please see this new CNN expose on the "nursing home rape epidemic":
According to a new study by caring.com, only 42 percent of U.S. adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or trust. For those with children under the age of 18, the figure is even lower, with just 36 percent having a plan in place.
A common financial abuse scam against the elderly is a call from someone allegedly representing the IRS demanding tax payments with threats of penalties. These calls often are received late at night and can be very confusing to anyone, but particularly disturbing to an elder living alone. The elderly are reticent to report if they are the victim of a phone scam. (see: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-protection/preventing-elder-abuse/index.htm).
The public interest journalism website ProPublica has been reporting on a growing trend of disturbing social media abuse of elders in nursing homes.
When considering assisted living facilities for loved ones, Kathryn Stebner advises families that staff is the key to everything, especially those who are engaging residents in a variety of activities which help to keep them healthy. If you see people sitting in a corner in wheelchairs and no one interacting with them, this is a bad sign.
Amongst the many New Years wishes of a productive and happy year, this inspiring video found its way onto my facebook newstream. It will surely bring a smile to your face, and is a perfect reminder of the spirit that lives on inside as we age:
We have all heard that elders are susceptible to financial scams over the telephone, but often it is hard for a younger person to understand how someone falls for a scam from a stranger. The November, 2015 issue of Consumer Reports breaks down how a telephone scam works, in addition to other informative articles on elder financial abuse. The article "Anatomy of a Swindle" explains how the Jamaica Lottery scam targets and exploits its elderly victims by phone. The process is likely similar in other phone scams where elders are told they won something, but have to pay to get it. Click here to read the article: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-protection/anatomy-of-a-swindle
Estate planning in California looks different for every client. Are you single or in a partnership? In a blended family with step-children? Are you in the "third act" of your life and want to proactively name someone to carry out your decisions in the event of incapacity? Do you have high net worth and wish to minimize estate taxes for your beneficiaries, or have a modest estate but nevertheless want to ensure your intended disposition is honored?
As our parents age, we often look to third parties or other family members to assist them in their financial management and daily care. Our parents can become susceptible to the suddenly attentive neighbor or "friend," or even a relative, taking an inappropriate interest in the elder's affairs. Sometimes, out of pride or shame, an elder will be reticent to admit to anyone that they may have made a mistake trusting someone they shouldn't have.