Out of town aging aunt giving away her money to scams, fake charities, etc.

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My aunt is in Chicago, and her closest family are in St. Louis. She lives alone in her home and cannot drive. She is slowing giving away all of her money to 'charities' and other people who solicit her on a daily basis. We recently got her to agree to give us financial POA. What steps can we take to lock down her assets to keep her from giving away all of her money?

4 Comments

Take away the cards or ask that her CC limit be lowered. If she is won't give up her chequebook then you can make sure there is very little money in the account, who cares if she is bouncing cheques to scammers? Lock the majority of her remaining money into savings like term deposits that are not easily accessible, you can do all this under the guise of helping her with her long term financial planning
Cwillie is right. Plan on taking over all finances, bills etc. This will probably take a trip to Chicago to get her to sign paperwork to give someone acess to checking account and other funds. It's all a big hassle but it has to be done. My folks are 3 states away. If I had not taken over a couple years ago the scumbag charity guys would have taken it all.

My folks and your aunt are just marks to these guys. It's a multi billion dollar industry picking old folks clean. And don't even get me started on the religious scams.
This can be a huge problem- one I struggled with in looking after my mother - it was an on-going fight for over three years. I visited my mother twice a week and couldn't get it under control, being you're a distance away, I think it could be close to impossible to get a handle on it. I tried EVERYTHING even to the point I took away her checkbook and credit cards - but then mom started making a huge fuss telling anyone who would listen that I wouldn't let her have her own money. Being DPOA and mom still being legally competent I couldn't risk charges of elder abuse so I had to give her cc and checkbook back to her. In loose figures I estimate mom gave away over $20,000 in three years - so goodbye Medicaid and good thing mom has enough money to last five years plus - to self pay for her care. Moms weakness was for any and every "charity" request she received by mail - usually well over twenty a day and often several a week from the same charity. Donkeys, Tigers, dogs, horses, farm animals, elephants, monkeys, orphans, widows, bible reading convicts, clean water, veterans, deaf, blind, cancer, housing, rain forest, national parks - on and on it went. It only stopped when mom had a serious fall that ratcheted up her dementia and she finally landed it a nursing home. I really wish you the best of luck - if you can get this licked, please be sure to share how. Unfortunately this is a too common problem with the elderly.
My late grandmother also gave away alot (she didn;t have) to religous / Tv ministers... My mom and Aunt had a heck of a time with this. Luckily Mom only gives to St Judes.. they helped out my cousins so I am ok with her small donations. And we requested that memorial donations be sent to them. Can you have Aunts mail rerouted to a relative?

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