You’ve likely already given some thought to what will happen to your life savings and hard-earned profits after you’re gone, especially if you have children. You may have an estate plan, trust or will in place, and are feeling comfortable that everything will be taken care of as you desire. But the fact is, there are still many things that could go wrong.
According to a report, approximately one in 10 elders experience some kind of abuse, typically at the hands of family members or someone they trust or depend on. While that abuse can take many forms, it’s often financially motivated. Financial abuse alone costs older Americans more than $2.6 billion annually.
This can be akin to what you see in movies, when the evil stepmother changes the estate plan, hires a security team, or cuts off friends and family. It can also be more subtle. Rather than wait until it gets to that point, consider these six tips now to ensure something like this doesn’t happen to you.
1. Don’t believe you are immune to betrayal.
Money changes people. Betrayal is a key theme among abuse cases and is a great example of why the term “con man” comes from the word “confidence.” I’ve seen financial abuse take place at the hands of spouses, children, and other relatives, as well as business partners, employees, lawyers, accountants and care workers.