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How can I protect my elderly parent from being taken advantage of financially?

De Pere, WI |

parent is 87, widowed and has a new friend.I did some background on the new friend and found out the friend has been the beneficiary in previous estate settlements,as the friend has been married more than once before. our parent is starting to make financial decisions that do not make sense to the family. NOW we've come to find out the friend wants to move in with our parent, needless to say, the family has not trusted the new friend from day one.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Consult with a competent estate planning lawyer immediately to protect your parent and your parent's assets. Don't delay. Also, if you feel the relationship is inappropriate, you may want to contact your local ombudsman, the State of Wisconsin Department of Health, and potentially local law enforcement, depending upon your specific concerns. Good luck.


  2. You should consult a local estate planning expert assuming your parent is still mentally competent to properly plan and protect their assets. This type of family planning is critical in a potential situation like the one you are describing.


  3. If your parent has legal capacity, definitely look into Estate Planning - to include Durable Power of Attorney so that you are the one with legal authority. See Find-A-Lawyer at the top of this page. Good Luck to you both.

    My answer is based on the limited facts presented. It doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. Use the ‘Find-A-Lawyer’ search engine at the top of this page and follow proper legal advice.


  4. The susceptibility of vulnerable seniors to the approaches unscrupulous "new friends" is a common concern. Often the vulnerable adult is flattered by the attention and is receptive to the new friend's influence. If you take your parent to an attorney who has them execute a POA, you may find that the new friend convenses your parent to replace it with one of their own. To me it seems that before you take your parent to an attorney to set up a new estate plan, an act of which the new friend will surely become aware and may undermine, you may want to contact Adult Protective Services and report your concerns. If a little light is shed upon the situation, the new friend may find someplace else to go.. Be aware that your parent may react unfavorably towards you for meddling in their affairs.

    Responses provided on Avvo are for general informational purposes only, based upon the limited information that is provided, and do not constitute legal advice. As such you should consult with your own attorney for specific advice. No attorney/client relationship exists with Kelly S. Davis unless set forth in a written engagement letter. The Wyoming State Bar does not certify any attorney as a specialist or expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer's credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise.


  5. The problem is, even if you have Power of Attorney, how are you going to know if your parents withdraws funds or makes a new will naming the new "friend." I thing a fully funded revocable trust with you as a co-trustee is the best bet. Regardless, get help from an estate planning attorney.

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