Sometimes people become more vulnerable as they age. Too often, they are taken advantage of. Strangers and family members alike may try to exploit a senior’s weaknesses for personal gain. As a result, caregivers who are trying to take care of their elders often find themselves in sticky legal situations.

Here are some cautionary tales from the Caregiver Forum about the legal troubles that seniors and their family caregivers have faced:

“My grandfather signed his Power of Attorney over to a scam artist.”
When an elder lives alone, is too trusting or doesn’t have someone watching over their finances, they are easy prey for scam artists.

“My brother is stealing money from our elderly mother.”
It’s not only scam artists who prey on the elderly. It could be their own child.

“My mother-in-law never changed her Power of Attorney. Now she has advanced Alzheimer’s and it’s too late.”
Families should have an honest discussion with aging parents about appointing a POA before they lose the ability to make decisions.

“My mother is threatening to turn me in for abuse.”
Whether it is due to dementia or out of spite, an elderly parent might accuse a caregiver of abuse. Even if it is unfounded, the caregiver is in a heap of legal trouble.

“My siblings are suing me for taking care of our father.”
When one sibling is caring for the parent full time, siblings may accuse the caregiver of stealing money, abusing the elder or mishandling assets.

“My siblings only care about their inheritance, not mom’s well-being.”
Whenever there’s money involved, things can get ugly. Some siblings may be more interested in protecting their inheritance rather making sure Mom or Dad is getting quality care, living in a good nursing home, etc.

“My elderly mother is being taken advantage of by a younger man.”
Deceitful individuals look at an elderly person and see dollar signs. A common scamming tactic is to start a relationship with them in order to get money.

If you are experiencing legal issues associated with caregiving and elder abuse, you are not alone. Connect with other caregivers who have similar problems, on the Caregiver Forum and use the Elder Law Attorney Directory to find legal counsel in your area.