For those who discovered elder financial abuse and exploitation after the relative's death, it can be hard to find a lawyer when you're financially strapped. This is where the bar association comes in handy, they can put you in touch with the right lawyer who can help you. I have lots to say on how to protect yourself financially and prevent what's happening to others what happened to you. You don't have to stand helplessly by thinking there's nothing you can do as long as you make an effort to deal with it as soon as absolutely possible. It's not fair to our elders or their families for fraudsters to come in and clean out bank accounts and assets behind the family's backs. This is just what happened in my particular situation where my dad having Alzheimer's was defrauded big time. Sadly this happens all too often, more than people may realize but there's so much you can do to stop it. Though guardianship is a very good tool, all too often guardianship is often misused and abused. This is called abusive guardianship when predatory abusive guardians target the wealthy and gain guardianship and grab all of their money andassets through the legal system, this is more common than you may realize. Anyone with money can file for guardianship but not everyone is cut out for it. Wards are abused when guardians become overwhelmed. Guardians can also take advantage of those in their care but also so can a POA. Such was the case with my dad who developed Alzheimer's and should've had a guardian but didn't. Regardless of the reasons why you may not be able to be in the life of your aging relative, they become sitting duck for vultures when they lack trustworthy people to handle their affairs when they no longer can. My dad never really planned for the future and it's often poor planning that contributes to leaving our elders sitting duck for vultures. If you carry cash/checkbook and leave your wallet laying around, it'll be too tempting for someone to find it and take it advantage of you. Believe it or not, this actually happens every single day right under peoples' noses and it's never reported because people often don't recognize the signs in order to spot and confront it. It's never a good idea to carry cash or even a checkbook, these items can be found and stolen or misused by someone crooked enough to want to take advantage of the fact they found your wallet full of cash or even your checkbook laying on the table. I went digital years ago and never looked back. What's best about going digital is your bank has records of all of your transactions. When dealing with someone with Alzheimer's though, catching a thief will depend on whether or not someone who recognizes elder financial abuse is around to spot it. In the case of my dad who always carried cash, he was a sitting duck for some fraudster to come along and take advantage of him unless he would've later on taking advantage of leaving all of his money in the bank. This is how banks can spot fraud, and this is how they get to know their customers and their banking patterns. One big red flag is when someone appears in your life and takes over your financial matters and at some point the bills aren't getting paid when you would've otherwise paid them when you were able. Banks are trained to spot and deal with warning signs of potential fraud against elders. Sometimes it may be too late when someone may have sent off a check to a fraudster and it was already cashed by the fraudster. Other times fraud can be caught if caught in time, checks can be traced and stopped. If someone wanting POA takes an elder who happens to have mental decline to the bank, remember the elder may not be able to make an informed decision. If the person is already confused, you really don't want to confuse them even more.
It's up to you to prevent fraud
Going digital is very beneficial because it makes it that much harder for anyone to get anything from you should you become incapacitated in any way whatsoever. Keeping all of your money in the bank is far safer than carrying it in your wallet, especially if you were to lose your wallet or if it is stolen. Another perk is if someone finds your wallet who has no business with it, it'll be much harder for them to get anything from you if there's nothing in it. Carrying debit cards with very little money on them is actually beneficial if you only carry what you absolutely need and nothing more. It's a good idea to get into the practice of planning ahead as we've all heard so much about because it's your future. Finding a good strategy early on is much better than trying to find one when it's too late. Call it early preparation, it's always good to be prepared ahead of time by protecting yourself early on. When you find a good strategy, stick to it so that it becomes automatic because it will become a habit that becomes part of you. That way, if you ever develop dementia or Alzheimer's, you already have developed a specific pattern