Feldman Law GroupBy
No doubt you have heard about the reports of scams asking for personal information or access to sensitive information. These scams can be disguised in the form of an email or a phone call coming from well-known companies such as Amazon or agencies like the IRS. The person who calls may sound very convincing and press for information. When this happens, open communication with a designated professional advisor or family member is key.
However, open communication about these matters is not always easy. Usually, parents don’t want to give up control or even share information with their children about their estate plan or their finances. What I have seen most often is an adult child who moves in to care for Mom and Dad, but then things go sideways.
Often, I hear from various family members who suspect a brother or sister of going too far. The flip side to assisting our aging parents is concern that someone, usually a family member, is taking advantage of them. This is often difficult to detect.
What has happened with some families? One scenario is just a gradual merging of the parents’ finances together with that of a child or other relative. Instead of being Trust accounts, they are now joint accounts. This means that relative owns the account upon the parent’s death. In the end, those funds are not shared in the inheritance with all siblings.
More sinister is the last-minute estate plan revisions that create an unequal division among siblings when it had always been equal in the past. The child who is caring for the parent can start to feel entitled and deserving of something extra for the effort. Ironically, in some of these cases the child really is not providing good care.
Transparency is the best way to avoid some of these issues, but again parents are reluctant to share and may even feel some shame if they are being taken advantage of. It is important to have these difficult conversations with our parents and our siblings, but once you start having these conversations, they get easier and the transparency makes everyone ultimately more comfortable and more secure.
Anyone can attempt to defraud an elder in any number of ways, Feldman Law Group has been there to protect elders. I hope this new webinar can give you additional tools to protect those you love. Click here to register today.