Protecting Estate from the Inside

We tend to think of security threats from the outside and believe me there is plenty of that. We have to assist with emergency guardianships so frequently that it is so sad how many criminals there are preying on the elderly.

Once a criminal telemarketer gets their foot in the door, their exploits just become more and more bold until they get caught, which is rare. Or, a family member steps in and closes down the bank account or credit card the criminal was draining.

They start off small selling something small like computer or iPhone protection for $14.99 a month. Then after a few weeks they “upgrade” your relative to $29.99, and up and up. You get the point.

We recently assisted with a guardianship where the relatives needed to get control of a bank account that was being drained of over $1,200 monthly. The banks would not do anything without a court order showing that the relative who stepped up had legal authority to act.

Unfortunatly, there are hundreds of stories like this playing out every day. However, families also need to be on the look out for criminals withing their own family.

If all of a sudden a long lost relative shows up, then you should pay attention. Although, we look for the kindness in everyone there are folks out there who are just looking for the right opportunity.

It is usually a relative that shows up with a sad story. They were kicked out of their house by their partner. They just lost their job and have no where to live. They have not been able to work for the last two years – that is a popular one right now.

Your loved one hears this story and why would they not believe it. They welcome this person into their house. The relative at first waits on them hand and foot, doing all those chores no one has done for years.

The elderly person starts giving them money for paint, lightbulbs, etc… You know supplies to fix things up.

Then this long lost relative starts asking for a little more each time. Before you know it they are draining the bank account all under the guise of helping out. You confront then and they get angry and sometimes hostile.

The best way to avoid all of this is to pay attention to your loved ones. The more you are a part of their life the easier it will be to identify when things start to go wrong.