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How To Protect Your Aging Loved Ones From Fraud.

February 13, 2011

On February 3rd I wrote a blog called, The Conversation You Never Want To Have: Life Insurance and Wills. I saw an article today in The Kiplinger talking about the same thing. Due to my own personal experience with it, and the importance of the matter, I just felt like I had to blog about it again. The Kiplinger article covered topics not only regarding having that uncomfortable conversation but the idea of implementing spending plans with your family to build a nest egg. If you may not already know I am a HUGE fan of the Investigation Discovery channel. There is a show called The Will: Family Secrets Revealed. One episode in particular highlighted the story of a man named Willie, who died  after years of suffering with dementia. His family was shocked to learn that his estate, worth up to $70,000 was left not to them but his lawyer. It was later discovered that his attorney, who was trusted to do what is best for his client, used Willie’s dementia to his benefit. He managed to become the sole inheritor of all of the assets and swindled the family out of not just money but precious memories. As sad as this is, the reality is that things like this happen all the time. Do you want that to happen to you? To your mother and father? I know I don’t. Recently, a family health scare really got me thinking about the possible dangers of not having all of the financial loose ends tied up.

In my previous blog I talked about the importance of life insurance and wills, but what about people who don’t qualify for decent life insurance? Well here is where the spending plan comes in. As our parents get older, and even with grandparents too,  things like Alzheimer’s and dementia are realistic things to worry about. Talk to your parents about who will be given power of attorney. Find out where they keep all important financial and medical documents. Figure out what savings they have in regards to funeral expenses or any outstanding debt. You can help to alleviate that burden they may feel by creating and donating towards a spending plan for such expenses. Don’t allow your loved ones to become a victim of fraud. Be proactive and ask questions, seek advice from financial planners but shop around. The most important thing, is don’t demand and give instructions. They are after all our parents, we don’t tell them what to do, it’s always the other way around. Be gentle and give advice and guidance. Make sure to listen too. Your parents may have a strong desire to leave money towards a charity or particular person, their money should always go to things they care about not what you deem as fit. Losing a loved one takes it toll on your heart, don’t let it take your finances too.

At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we can help set up spending plans and provide you with all the financial guidance you need. Let us help you make this easier to talk about and implement. Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit.

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