Author: Ray Lewis

and How to Protect Yourself

    Common Medicare Scams and How to Protect Yourself

    It’s important to know what to watch for during open enrollment, when the nation’s 55 million Medicare recipients have the opportunity to change their Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. In addition to the challenge of going through the many plan options, experts say Medicare open enrollment is prime time for scam artists. Here are a few tips to protect yourself.

    • Guard your Medicare number, which is typically your Social Security number.  Protect it as you would your bank and credit card information.
    • Remember Medicare will NEVER call or email you requesting personal information or product offers. If you receive a call or email from someone claiming to be with Medicare that should be an immediate tip-off that you’re are dealing with a con artist.

    If an insurance agent visits your home to sell or endorse any Medicare product, they are acting illegally.

    Tips for Spotting Debt Collection Scams

    Verify the Debt is Legitimate

    It is very risky to pay a debt collection agency the first time it contacts you by phone. If it turns out to be a scam, your money will be gone with no hope of getting it back. So take time to investigate and you could save yourself some serious money.

    The fact that the debt collector has your personal information, such as your Social Security number, employment information, or names and telephone numbers of friends or relatives does not mean the debt is legitimate. Fraudsters can easily buy information about people who have defaulted on debts or who applied for loans online through sketchy websites. Anything you’ve put in a credit application could wind up in the hands of these crooks.

    Under a federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector must provide you with a written “validation notice” within five days after they first contact you. This notice also must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money, how much you owe, and how to dispute the debt if you don’t believe it is correct. Insist this notice be mailed – not emailed – to you.

    Another tip: Get your free annual credit report from all three credit bureaus to see if the collection account is listed on your credit reports. If it is, and the information is not accurate, you can dispute it. Conversely, if it is not on your reports, it could be a further indication that you are not dealing with a legitimate collection agency, as the scammers can’t and won’t report to credit bureaus. (While you are at it, monitor your credit scores for free. A sudden drop in your scores could indicate a collection account has been added.)

    Verify the Collector is Legitimate

    “Spoofing” technology makes it easy for a collector to pretend they are calling you from a phone number that is not theirs. Scammers have impersonated law firms and even law enforcement agencies in an effort to get you to pick up the phone and make a payment.

    Ask the caller for the name and address of the collection agency they work for. Again, you are entitled to this information. Then go online to see what you can find out. Does this firm exist? Are they listed with the Better Business Bureau? If so, are there complaints about them? You can also try searching for the phone number listed on your caller ID, but please remember these numbers can be faked. So don’t rely on that information alone.

    If the name of the collection agency or law firm is legitimate, it does not hurt to call them directly if the call you received seemed suspicious. If the agency is legitimate they will have no problem confirming your debt. But if it turns out someone else is using their name to try to rip people off, they will want to know about that as well. Same thing goes with callers who claim to represent the FBI, sheriff’s department, courts or other government agencies. These agencies will be able to confirm you are talking with scammers. (Courts don’t call consumers to collect debts, by the way, and neither does the FBI!)

    Fight Back

    Any of the following are red flags when a debt collector calls you demanding payment:

    • Discussing your debt with relatives, coworkers or friends (that’s illegal);
    • Threatening to “serve you” with a lawsuit if you don’t pay first (process servers who deliver these notices rarely, if ever, call consumers first, and they don’t try to collect payment);
    • Warning you that criminal charges will be filed, including “theft by deception.” It’s not a crime to be unable to pay your bills, and consumer debts are typically civil matters, not criminal.
    • Insisting you send them a prepaid card or wire payment. These funds are untraceable, which is why crooks like them.
    • You can tell a collector who is crossing the line that you are going to report them to law enforcement. Do so. You can contact Fraud.org or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to file a complaint.

    Common Financial Elder Abuse Scams

    Tips to help protect against financial abuse.

    According to recently released Census Bureau projections, the number of Americans 65 and older will double over the next 30 years to 80 million. Because older Americans have worked and saved longer than their younger counterparts, they naturally hold a much larger share of the nation’s wealth.

    Scammers are all too familiar with these statistics and are constantly developing new strategies to illegally take this money from the elderly. There is no limit to the imagination of a crook. Here are a few of the most common scams.

    Some simple things that you can do to help protect your loved one:

    1. The Grandparent Scam

    The scammer will place a call to a senior and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “hi grandma, do you know who this is?

    When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity with little to no effort. Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, bail money for a dui, etc.), to be paid via western union, prepaid card or MoneyGram, which don’t always require identification to collect. At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they will kill me.

    Always double check with family to confirm that  an actual crisis is happening.

    2.  Lottery Scams

    You will NEVER win a foreign lottery. This scam begins with a letter, telephone call or email telling you that you have won a lottery. The crook then tells you that you have to pay a small amount of money to qualify or satisfy some sort of tax before the big payout can be sent to you. The crook tells you to wire money or send a money gram or prepaid credit card. Don’t do it!!! It is a scam. In fact, it is against U.S. law to solicit the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail. If someone contacts you about winning a foreign lottery, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

    Federal Trade Commission

    3. IRS or U.S. Treasury Scam

    This scam occurs when the crook calls the target explaining they are from the IRS or U.S. Treasury to inform the victim that they are past due on taxes and demand money from you or you will go to jail. Another trick is to say you are due a refund, which is nothing more than bait for you to hand over banking account information.

    Five indications it is a scam because the IRS does not:

    1. Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
    2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
    3. Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
    4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
    5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

    If any of these situations occur, hang up and call 1-800-366-4484

    If you get an email or text message, do not reply or open any attachments. Contact the IRS.

    Internal Revenue Service

    4. Bogus Charities

    Money is solicited for fake charities. This often occurs after natural disasters.

    Always research the organization before giving it money. It may be a valid charity but one where only a small amount of your money actually goes to the charitable cause. Many charities pay huge salaries to its directors and are inefficiently managed. There are many other charities whose beneficiaries will get much more bang from your buck.

    5. Unnecessary Home Improvements

    The scammer will point out hidden damages to roof tops, structures and/or pluming in order to offer repair services. Often times there may be a legitimate repair needed but the scammer will upsell the elder to products or services that are not required.

    Always use a licensed contractor that was referred to you by a trusted source. Do not hesitate to get a second opinion if the cost seems too high.

    6. Debt Collection Scams

    Here, someone calls saying you have an unpaid debt and could face wage garnishment, lawsuits or jail time. But even legitimate debt collectors can’t make threats. If you have debts in collection, know your rights so you can deal with the issue.

    Tips for Spotting Debt Collection Scams

    7. Internet Fraud

    As web use among senior citizens increases, so does their chances to fall victim to internet fraud. Internet fraud includes non-delivery of items ordered online and credit and debit card scams.

    Only make purchases from trusted sources. Never give out personal private information such as social security number, credit card and bank account numbers, drivers license number, address and telephone numbers.

    8. Medical Equipment Fraud

    Equipment manufacturers offer “free” products to individuals. Insurers are then charged for products that were not needed and/or may not have been delivered.

    Do not accept products that you have not been looking for and be cautious of anyone wanting to give you something for free.

    If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

    9. Suspicious Credit Card Activity Scam

    If you receive an email from a credit card company or financial institution claiming that there has been “suspicious activity on your account,” NEVER click on the link and immediately call your credit card company using the number on the back of the credit card only to verify if it is legitimate or bogus.

    10. Funeral & Cemetery Scams

    Funeral directors steer customers towards expensive showroom models first. They also push expensive “protective” casket gaskets to delay penetration of water into the casket, theoretically preserving the body from biological entities.

    Shop around in advance. Compare prices from at least two funeral homes. Remember that you can supply your own casket or urn.

    11. Telemarketing / Door to Door Scams

    Seniors, especially older woman living alone, are a special target of people who sell bogus products and services by telephone. Telemarketing scams often involve offers of free prizes, low-cost vitamins and health care products, and inexpensive vacations.

    If you get a call from someone you don’t know who is trying to sell you something you hadn’t planned to buy, say “No thanks.” And, if they pressure you about giving up personal information-like your credit card or social security number-it’s likely a scam. Hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

    Consider registering your phones with the National Do Not Call Registry

    12. Cancer Rip-off

    Last year the Federal Trade Commission charged four national cancer charities (the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, the Children’s Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society) with defrauding consumers of $187 million!  At the other end of the spectrum is a local person in your community claiming to have cancer and swindling tens of thousands of dollars from sympathetic supporters.

     

    WHAT SHOULD YOU DO

    Before contributing to any charity, check out its rating on charitynavigator.org.  Instead of giving cash to door-to-door solicitors or your credit card numbers to callers, ask for more information about the charity (brochures, websites) so you can investigate the cause first.  NEVER sign up for magazine subscriptions from solicitors.  The money does not go back to their college, it does not go to help kids stay off drugs…you get the point.  Also be wary of popular online giving sites such as gofundme.com   The best thing you can do to protect yourself from this or any scam is to be skeptical.  Ask questions, trust your gut.

    13. Tech Support Calling

    According to Microsoft, this just might be the biggest consumer scam in the U.S. right now.  In 2015 an estimated 3.3 million people were victimized by a tech-support con.  Here’s how it typically works:

     

    You get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be with Microsoft or Windows tech support, who says viruses have been detected on your computer.  In order to protect your data, you are told to immediately call up a certain website and follow its instructions.  A dummy screen may appear that shows viruses being detected and eliminated, but in reality malware is being installed that allows the scammer to steal your usernames and passwords, hold your data for ransom or even use the webcam to spy on you.

    WHAT SHOULD YOU DO   

    HANG UP! Neither Microsoft nor their partners make unsolicited phone calls.  Also, don’t click any links in unsolicited emails from ‘Microsoft’ or in pop-up ads promising to speed up your computer.  Another reason to have the  “Caller ID’ option added to your phone service.

    A Letter from the Founder: Welcome to Elder Protection Center

    Today is a special day for those in their golden years!  If you have loved ones or parents who are aging, today is even more special because we are launching an all new resource for the elderly – www.elderprotectioncenter.com.  It is my hope that you and your family will benefit from the website’s many tips to prevent common problems that unfortunately may occur in your later years.  If you know of loved ones or if you work with the elderly closely, I am very proud to announce the launch of the Elder Protection Center – Today. (more…)

    Tips on Selecting a Nursing Home

    1. Look at Survey Results

      Look at survey results from the state licensing agency that shows the facility’s history with regulatory compliance or noncompliance. (This is public data)

    2. Check Court Records

      Check court records to determine if the facility been sued for neglect.

    3. Check Online

      Conduct on line research regarding the Medicare’s nursing home compare website that ranks nursing homes from best to worst.

    4. Take a Tour

      Take an on-site tour of facility. Your senses of smell, sound and sight are great common sense predictors of quality.

    5. Meet the Staff

      Meet and interview staff and administrator.

    6. Ask Questions

      Ask about staffing levels, activities and resident opinion surveys, family member opinion surveys, read resident & family council minutes.

    7. Language Barriers?

      Make sure the facility is able to clearly communicate in the elder’s first language.

    8. Care Barriers?

      If it is important that the senior is seen by his or her own personal physician, confirm that he or she can see resident at facility? If not, meet facility medical director and research his/her background.

    9. Don’t Make a Quick Decision

      Take the admission agreement home and read it carefully to see what services are included in the base price, as opposed to extra costs.

    10.  

      4 Common Steps used by the Professional Predator to Target Seniors

      • Step One – Get a captive audience

        Professional financial predators must first get a captive audience of willing seniors together. Watch out for the “Free Lunch” or “Free Seminar” where you are promised free and important information on “Living Trusts” or “Reverse Mortgages.”

      • Step Two – Find Out What the Senior Owns

        The next step is to find out what the senior owns in terms of property, savings, annuities, equity in home and other assets. This is accomplished by handing out questionnaires at the “Free Lunch” or “Free Seminar” that will be used to determine which attendees will later be targeted for financial exploitation at a sales presentation.

      • Step Three – Create a Need to Move the Assets

        The financial predator needs to create a need for the senior to move his or her assets or buy and expensive insurance product, like an annuity that pays the predator a huge commission. This is usually accomplished by creating fear and insecurity about one’s life savings. The scammer will tell you he will “protect your estate” and “secure it for your children,” You might be told that “you will go into a nursing home and outlive your money,” or need to “avoid probate,” or “qualify for Medi Cal,” or a host of other doom and gloom scenarios to create enough fear and concern to induce you to comply with the predator’s wishes.

      • Step Four – Liquidate the Senior’s Assets and Move them to Commission-based Products

        The final step is to close the deal by having the senior move his or her money somewhere where the predator earns a commission. Watch out for IRA Rollovers, Direct Cash Purchases, Reverse Mortgages, Consulting Fees for Assistance in Qualify for a Government Product, or the purchase of an Expensive Annuity. All of these transactions can be used for an inappropriate and unsuitable purpose.

       

      Important Rule of Thumb:

      Have all financial decisions evaluated by a trusted advisor who does not stand to earn a dime if you decide to purchase one of these products.

      Tips for Avoiding Telemarketing Fraud

      1. If you hear these-or similar- “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you,” and hang up the telephone:

        “You’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
         
        “You must act now, or the offer won’t be good.
         
        “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
         
        “You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone, including your family, lawyer, accountant, local better business bureau, or consumer protection agency.
         
        “You can’t afford to miss this high-profit, no-risk offer.”

      2. Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company.

        Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.

      3. Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity.

        If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But, unfortunately, beware—not everything written down is true.

      4. Always check out unfamiliar companies.

        Check unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, better business bureau, state attorney general, the national fraud information center, or other watchdog groups. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.

      5. Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business.

        Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.

      6. Before you give money to a charity or make an investment…

        Find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.

      7. Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question:

        “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”

      8. Don’t pay in advance for services.

        Pay services only after they are delivered.

      9. Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you.

        In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.

      10. Always take your time making a decision.

        Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.

      11. Don’t pay for a “free prize”.

        If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.

      12. Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are—the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.

      13. Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor.

        It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.

      14. Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.

      15. Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

      16. Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.

      17. If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.

       
      At Elder Protection Center we’re here to help you and the ones you love to navigate the complexities and concerns that often come with aging.

      Protect the People You Love is our number one priority. You are not alone. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.

      10 Tips to Protect Against Elder Financial Abuse

      Tips and resources to help protect against financial abuse.

      According to recently released Census Bureau projections, the number of Americans 65 and older will double over the next 30 years to 80 million. Because older Americans have worked and saved longer than their younger counterparts, they naturally hold a much larger share of the nation’s wealth.

      Scammers are all too familiar with these statistics and are constantly developing new strategies to illegally take this money from the elderly. There is no limit to the imagination of a crook. Here are a few of the most common scams.

      Some simple things that you can do to help protect your loved one:

       

      1. Carefully Select Caregiver

      Ask caregiver to provide referrals. Don’t just rely on calling the referrals. Make sure they are legitimate. Offer to buy him or her a cup of coffee so you can meet and evaluate them. When you find a caregiver you like, make sure they are certified and registered with the State.  California recently passed a law requiring all home care agencies and independent home care aides to be certified and registered.  Part of that process includes mandatory background checks.  If your loved one lives outside of California, make sure to conduct a background check. There are many reputable companies that can do it for a reasonable fee.

      2. Inventory all Jewelry

      Jewelry is the number one item that is stolen from homes occupied by elders. Photograph valuable items and keep it in a locked drawer. In the event of theft, pictures are helpful in tracking down stolen jewelry at pawn shops. It also helps with insurance claims.

      3. Secure Incoming and Outgoing Mail

      Do not leave outgoing on incoming mail in an unsecured mailbox because mailbox theft is rampant. Get a locked mailbox or rent a p.o. box at the local post office. Trusted family members or friends should also monitor the source of incoming requests for charitable or political contributions. These solicitations are purposely designed to look like official non-profit or government organizations.

      4. Allow Your Bank to Send a Duplicate Copy of Your Monthly Statements to a Trusted Family Member or Professional Advisor

      Unfortunately, most financial elder abuse cases are only reported or discovered six to nine months after the initial losses have occurred. Elders whose sight is failing are at greater risk because they may rely upon the very person who is stealing from them to insure that the financial transactions are in order. An independent pair of eyes that is able to look over bank statements every 30 days will be able to catch suspicious activities in the early stages.

      5. Buy a Shredder

      Don’t simply throw away mail containing your name, address and any other identifying information. Shred it!!!! “dumpster divers” find all sorts of personal information to steal your identity.

      6. Get Caller I.D. on Every Telephone

      Criminals love to prey on the elderly through the telephone. With caller i.d., you can screen out incoming calls classified as “private” or “unknown.” If the call is legitimate, the caller will leave a message.

      7. Watch Out for Lottery Scams

      All telephone calls and mailings telling you that you won a lottery are a scam! These crooks are simply trying to swindle you out of money or private personal information in order for you to “collect your winnings.” They even ask you to donate a small portion of your winnings to a bogus charity in an effort to appear legitimate. Beware!

      8. Be Alert to “Grandma” Scams

      The con artist places a call to an older person and says something like “hi grandma, do you know who this is”? When the unsuspected elder guesses the name of a grandchild, the scam begins. Usually, the caller pretends to be the grandchild in need of quick cash to fix a car or get bailed out of jail for a dui. Never send money to anyone without double checking the source of the call. Don’t be fooled by a dramatic plea to “not call my parents because they will be mad at me.” These predators are randomly calling homes every day across the country.

      9. Don’t Assume that the Friendly Handyman is Licensed

      First, check the name of the contractor with the state license contractor’s board. Don’t assume a business card with a license number is valid. Next, always get at least two estimates in writing before committing to any work on your home. Finally, never pay more than 10% of the contract price up front.

      10. Never Allow a Stranger into Your Home

      Never allow any stranger into your home. If they have an emergency, tell them you will call 911.

      10 Tips to Avoid Senior Identity Theft

      According to the Bureau of Justice, over 3 million elderly Americans have their identity stolen by predators each year. Unfortunately, as long as there have been identity thieves, seniors have always been their preferred target. The elderly are often socially isolated, tend to be trusting and vulnerable, lonely, and may have early dementia or memory loss.

      Additionally, many elderly do not check their credit reports on a regular basis, if at all, making early detection problematic.

      The first time a senior or their care-provider may become aware that their identity has been stolen may be when bill collectors begin calling on charges that the predator made in their name.

      Protect yourself and your elderly loved ones with these 10 tips to help avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:

      1. Watch for shoulder-surfers.

      When entering a PIN number or a credit card number in an ATM machine, at a phone booth, or even on a computer at work, be aware of who is nearby and make sure nobody is peering over your shoulder to make a note of the keys you’re pressing.

      2. Require photo ID verification.

      Rather than signing the backs of your credit cards, you can write “See Photo ID”. In many cases, store clerks don’t even look at the signature block on the credit card, and a thief could just as easily use your credit card to make online or telephone purchases which don’t require signature verification, but for those rare cases where they do actually verify the signature, you may get some added security by directing them to also make sure you match the picture on the photo ID.

      3. Shred everything.

      One of the ways that would-be identity thieves acquire information is through “dumpster-diving”, aka trash-picking. If you are throwing out bills and credit card statements, old credit card or ATM receipts, medical statements or even junk-mail solicitations for credit cards and mortgages, you may be leaving too much information laying about. Buy a personal shredder and shred all papers with PII on them before disposing of them.

      4. Destroy digital data.

      When you sell, trade or otherwise dispose of a computer system, or a hard drive, or even a recordable CD, DVD or backup tape, you need to take extra steps to ensure the data is completely, utterly and irrevocably destroyed. Simply deleting the data or reformatting the hard drive is nowhere near enough. Anyone with a little tech skill can undelete files or recover data from a formatted drive. For CD, DVD or tape media you should physically destroy it by breaking or shattering it before disposing of it. There are shredders designed specifically to shred CD / DVD media.

      5. Be diligent about checking statements.

      This actually has two benefits. First, if you are diligent about checking your bank and credit statements each month, you will be aware if one of them doesn’t arrive and that can alert you that perhaps someone stole it from your mailbox or while it was in transit. Second, you can ensure that the charges, purchases or other entries on the statement are legitimate and match up with your records so that you can quickly identify and address any suspicious activity.

      6. Pay your bills at the post office.

      Never leave your paid bills in your mailbox to be sent out. A thief who raids your mailbox would be able to acquire a slew of critical information in one envelope- your name, address, credit account number, your bank information including the routing number and account number from the bottom of the check, and a copy of your signature from your check for forgery purposes just for starters. Drop your bills at the post office or at least in an official U.S. Postal Service drop box to ensure that doesn’t open.

      7. Limit the information on your checks.

      It may be convenient to have your drivers license number or social security number imprinted on your personal checks to save some time when you write one, but if it falls into the wrong hands it reveals too much information. In fact, some recommend that you only include your first initial in the name space of your check, such as “R. Lewis” rather than writing out “Robert Lewis” so that if someone did get one of your checks they would not know your full name.

      8. Analyze your credit report annually.

      You should review your credit report each year to make sure the information on it is accurate and also make sure that there aren’t any accounts on there that you aren’t aware of or any other suspicious entries or activity.

      If you don’t need to establish new credit, consider freezing your credit.  A credit freeze reduces the risk of identity theft by preventing crooks from opening new credit card accounts in your name.

      Learn How To Freeze Your Credit

      9. Protect your Social Security number.

      Knowing your full name, address and full Social Security Number, or even the last 4 digits in many cases, can let a thief assume your identity.  You should never use your Social Security Number as any part of a username or password that you establish and you should never divulge it to telephone solicitors or in response to spam or phishing scam emails either.

      10. Be Leary of Unfamiliar Online Companies.

      Don’t do business online with companies you don’t know anything about. You can feel relatively secure doing business online with well-known, national or global merchants. But, if you are buying something online you need to have some level of trust that the company you are doing business with is legitimate and that they take the security of your personal information as seriously as you do. When you do make online purchases, read the companies online privacy policy first to ensure you agree with it and make sure you are on a secure or encrypted web site (symbolized by a small padlock at the bottom right of the screen in Internet Explorer).

      12 Signs of Undue Influence and Incapacity

      1. Gifts to persons (caregivers, service providers, friends) who are not the natural objects of the elder’s love and commitment.
      2. Gifts to anyone that are so large, given the size and nature of the elder’s estate, as to threaten the elder’s economic security
      3. Loans, particularly if undocumented, to anyone; special scrutiny required if to non‑family members
      4. Actions by the elder’s fiduciary (attorney-in-fact, trustee, other) that reflect poor judgment or conflict of interest
      5. Existence of estate-planning documents naming non‑family members as fiduciaries or beneficiaries
      6. Existence of joint accounts with non‑family members
      7. Evidence that the elder signs checks prepared by others
      8. Bequest plans or other arrangements favoring one child, particularly if the child lives with elder.
      9. Evidence of excessive dependence on a child or other person, particularly if such other person is critical to the client’s independence and/or ability to avoid a nursing home
      10. Material inconsistency between elder’s understanding of estate and its true value
      11. Excessive fees charged by professionals (trustees, attorneys, financial advisors, stockbrokers, other)
      12. Unreasonable terms of loans or other financial arrangements.

       
      What To Do If You Suspect Undue Influence Or Incapacity
      Click Here and Give Your Loved One Either or Both of These Quick Screening Tests
      At Elder Protection Center we’re here to help you and the ones you love to navigate the complexities and concerns that often come with aging.

      Protect the People You Love is our number one priority. You are not alone. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.

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