Financial exploitation happens all over the world. It’s a shame, but it’s simply a fact of life. People will always look to take advantage of others, no matter how immoral — and illegal — something may be.
In the United States, taking advantage of the elderly is becoming more and more of an issue. There are various types of elder abuse and clearly those that are physically harming senior citizens are in a world of their own when it comes to crime. Financial elder abuse, however, is much more difficult to see happening.
Elder Abuse Facts
- Financial exploitation ends up costing elders at least $2.9 billion every year, according to the Metlife Mature Market Institute.
- One in five adults have been victimized by financial exploitation in the United States, according to the Investor Protection Trust Elder Fraud Survey.
- The annual loss caused by financial fraud increased by 12% from 2008 to 2009 and seemingly is still on the rise.
- The most common type of abuse is financial fraud, followed by physical abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse, according to DoSomething.Org.
- In just under 90% of abuse incidents regarding elders, the abuser is a family member. About two-thirds are perpetrated by children or a spouse.
One of the worst parts of all this financial exploitation is that only so much is actually reported. For every one abuse case reported, at least five go unnoticed, so it’s extremely difficult to determine exactly how much of this abuse is taking place.
The most recent research again shows that every year, close to $3 billion is stolen through fraud, but according to a TrueLinkFinancial study, elder financial abuse accounts for over $36 billion each year.
No matter what the number actually is, this is certainly a major issue in the United States.
It’s nearly impossible to guarantee that financial abuse can be 100% prevented, but there are things that can be done to minimize the chances of being taken advantage of. One of the most important things you can do is consult with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable on estate law.
A professional estate lawyer can ensure that your finances are secure and you and your family’s money will be available in the future. Each individual has to be careful and vigilant on their own, of course, but working with professionals can certainly help.
If you’re in need of assistance with your estate planning, contact us today!