It is an unfortunate reality that there are some relatives in New York who will use their relationship with an elderly person to their own gain. While elder abuse can take many forms, financial abuse can be one way that a trusted loved one of an elderly person can happen without them even realizing that it is going on. If you believe that you have an elderly loved one that is the subject of financial abuse, the first call you should make is to a New York lawyer with experience in dealing with elder abuse and guardianship.
Often, financial abuse is not as obvious to family members as physical abuse. Financial abuse is still a serious matter, however, and there are clues to look for to see if it is happening to your loved one. If the elderly person in your life has handed over control of his or her financial care to a family member in the form of a power of attorney, for example, there could be some major red flags to look for to see if there is financial abuse going on. One thing to look for is whether or not your loved one is still receiving the bank statements and know what is going on with his or her account. If it appears that you loved one does not know what is going on, while at the same time money or valuables are starting to go missing, it is time to take action.
The surest way to fight financial abuse is to petition to be your loved one’s guardian. While no one wants to think about their mother, father or other loved one not being able to make decisions for themselves, this can be the best way to secure that loved one’s finances. Becoming a guardian is the best way to stop someone who is taking advantage of a loved one financially, even if they are using a power of attorney.
There are two main kinds of guardianship. One is guardianship over a person’s financial affairs, such as paying bills or managing financial accounts. Another type of guardianship would be over the person. This type of guardianship would mean the petitioner would be getting the ability to make health care decisions for the person who is subject to the guardianship. The courts aim towards giving a person the ability to make decisions on their own as much as possible. For example, this can mean that if your parent is not able to handle his or her financial affairs but still can make their own medical decisions, only decisions about financial issues can be made.
Through petitioning for guardianship with the assistance of a New York attorney, you can help your parent gain control over his or her money. The first step is to have an emergency guardian appointed so that accounts can be frozen. This will keep your brother or sister from gaining access to your loved one’s money while the guardianship proceedings are going on. Once a guardian is appointed, the accounts can be under the guardian’s control, meaning that it would not be possible for a financial abuser to take any more money. You can also petition for a full accounting if the suspected abuser has been given power of attorney over your relative. This way, there is a better chance that you will find out where your loved one stands financially.
If suspect that your brother or sister is taking money from your mother or father, speak to attorney Albert Gurevich. Call (212) 233-1233.