Unconscionable: Financial Exploitation of Elderly Persons with Dementia
Marquette Elder's Advisor, Vol. 9, No. 2, p. 383, 2008
33 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2008
Date Written: May 15, 2008
Millions of Americans must deal with the affects of dementia on an elderly family member. Once a person develops dementia it creates an acute potential for financial abuse. This article recounts the real life financial exploitation of Gladys Smith, an elderly woman with dementia. It then analyzes Gladys's estate plan in order to show how her exploitation could have been avoided or mitigated. The article offers four steps to preventing financial exploitation: (1) expecting the worst-case scenarios; (2) advance planning; (3) periodic communication; and (4) creating layers of protection to guard against the worst-case scenarios.
Keywords: elderly, dementia, estate planning, financial exploitation, financial abuse, elder law, trusts, guardianship, power of attorney
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