3 Methods of Protecting the Assets of an Elderly Loved One
There may come a time when an older loved one such as a parent, grandparent or other close relative doesn’t have the cognitive capability or mental faculty to manage their assets or finances by themselves, and as a care provider, fiduciary responsibility may fall on you.
This is an extremely important role since it is one that requires trust between multiple parties as the future of someone under your care might depend wholly on their ability to afford meaningful care, accommodation and medical expenses.
Should you find yourself in the position of being somewhat responsible for a loved one’s assets then you should consider the following:
- Use trusted and reputable companies
- Request power of attorney
- Be aware of scams
Although a company might look above board and genuine, there is a chance that it might not necessarily have its clients’ best interests at heart, especially older ones, while power of attorney will grant you the ability to control the finances of your loved one should their ability to do so diminish and there are countless scammers out there that actively seek out vulnerable people in order to take what they have.
Use Trusted and Reputable Companies
When making any decisions when it comes to money, either your own or someone else’s, you should always seek to find the best possible company for the job. Besides simple banking, there are many aspects of protecting the finances of an elderly relative which extends to such things as will writing, inheritance management and transfer of property.
Law firms and solicitors can aid in these but it can be tricky to find the correct firm that will handle these aspects with respect and care. Conveyancing quotes can be found on such things as price comparison websites but more intimate and delicate concerns require a professional touch by a reputable law firm.
Request Power of Attorney
In the case that your elder loved one cannot comprehend their financial decisions, or there are others that seek to take advantage of them, then you can request a power of attorney situation whereby an appointed attorney controls their finances for them. However, power of attorney can only be granted if your relative has named you as their advocate absent specific circumstances whereby they cannot make this decision themselves.
There are multiple types of POA, each regarding different situations and scenarios that offer distinct advantages or disadvantages to either the agent (you) or the principal (relative). For example, you may be granted limited power of attorney that limits what you are able to do or a general POA that grants you full access and control, which is wide open to abuse.
Be Aware of Scams
Internet, phone and banking scams are all on the rise but the most despicable of these are the ones designed to specifically target elderly and vulnerable citizens. In the UK alone, there are approximately 800,000 elderly abuse scams carried out each year. These scams look to target the elderly by requesting personal information and bank details or selling products that aren’t needed.
Many scammers will perform what is known as a “phishing” expedition, whereby they slowly gain small yet important pieces of information that are required for identity theft, fraud and bank account access. While there is nothing you can do to stop scammers from attempting this, you can minimise the potential for them to do harm.
First, you should educate yourself on the types of scams out there, but you can also do the following:
- Request no calling from the phone provider
- Install good antimalware on relative’s computer
- Teach them to use a VPN
- Teach them not to give any details over the phone
- Beware of letting anyone in the house
- Report any and all attempts from scammers
Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash