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Recognizing Elder Financial Exploitation in Adult Guardianship Cases

 Posted on March 30, 2023 in Guardianship

san antonio elder law attorneySadly, elder financial exploitation is a growing concern in the United States, with adult guardianship cases particularly susceptible to abuse. As more seniors rely on guardians to manage their financial affairs, it is crucial to recognize the signs of financial exploitation and take appropriate action to protect vulnerable individuals. Today, we will discuss identifying elder financial exploitation in adult guardianship cases and steps to take if you suspect abuse. 

If you believe an elderly loved one is being financially exploited, do not hesitate to contact an experienced elder abuse attorney immediately. 

Understanding Financial Exploitation

Financial exploitation involves the unauthorized or improper use of another person’s resources for personal gain. It can take on many forms, such as stealing money, forging signatures, or coercing the senior into signing financial documents. In addition, in adult guardianship, a guardian may misuse their authority to gain access to the senior’s assets and exploit them for their benefit. 

Warning Signs of Financial Exploitation

Several warning signs may indicate financial exploitation in adult guardianships cases, including:

  • Unusual or unexplained financial transactions – If you notice sudden changes in the elder’s financial accounts, such as significant withdrawals or transfers they cannot explain, this could be a sign of financial exploitation. Review bank statements and other financial documents for any unusual activity.

  • Changes in legal documents – Changes to estate planning documents without a clear explanation or reason may indicate that someone is manipulating the elder. Be vigilant in reviewing legal documents and seek professional advice if you notice suspicious changes. 

  • Isolation from family and friends – Exploiters often try to isolate the elder from their support network, making it easier to manipulate them. This could be a sign of exploitation if the elder is suddenly cut off from family and friends.

  • Signs of neglect or unmet needs – If an elder’s basic needs are not being met, such as proper healthcare, nutrition, or housing, this could indicate that their resources are being diverted elsewhere. Investigate any signs of neglect to determine if financial exploitation is occurring. 

  • Unfamiliar people involved in the elder’s life – Be cautious if new and unfamiliar people suddenly become involved in the elder’s life, particularly if they seem to take an active role in managing their finances or decisions on their behalf. 

What to Do if You Suspect Elder Financial Exploitation

If you suspect an elder is being financially exploited, take the following steps:

  • Speak with elders privately, express your concerns, and ask questions about their financial situation.

  • Report your suspicions to authorities such as Adult Protective Services or local law enforcement. 

  • Consult with an attorney who specializes in elder law or guardianship issues. They can guide how to proceed and protect the elder’s rights.

  • Gather documentation to support your suspicions, such as bank statements, legal documents, and evidence of neglect or unmet needs.

  • Work with the elder and their support network to create a plan for addressing the exploitation and preventing future cases.


Contact a San Antonio, Texas Elder Abuse Attorney

For more information about legal assistance, contact the experienced San Antonio, Texas elder abuse lawyers with The Law Office of Ryan C. Moe, PLLC. Call 210-861-6000 for a private consultation.



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