Can an Estate Plan Protect Vulnerable Adults From Financial Exploitation?

person holding money

As we get older, we can become more susceptible to being exploited and scammed. There are plenty of scam artists out there and many of them target older, more vulnerable adults. If you have loved ones who you want to protect from bad actors, then you may want to help them make an estate plan of their own. A Woodland Hills, California estate planning attorney can help your family members protect themselves and their wealth.

How Can Rules and Laws About Estate Plans Protect Vulnerable Adults?

Estate plans can use many different tools to protect vulnerable adults and their assets. There are also many rules and laws surrounding these tools, making it more difficult for someone to take advantage of someone financially.

For example, let’s take a will as an example. Some scammers might try to force a vulnerable older person to change their will and leave them more assets. However, you cannot just edit a will like it a Microsoft Word document and call it a day. A will must be witnessed by two others and the person making it must be of sound mind. Having a will already in place can make it harder for vulnerable adults to get scammed later.

How Can Someone Protect Themselves Before They Mentally Decline?

In addition to making a will, other steps can be taken to protect vulnerable adults if it family members have begun to expect that they could be attractive victims to scammers. Our lawyers can help you use estate planning tools to protect assets and make sure that they go to beneficiaries and not scam artists.

Many assets can be kept in a trust, and you can form one so that your loved one is no longer in charge of it. Instead, a trustee who your loved one appoints can be in charge of disbursing funds. If a vulnerable adult is getting scammed and comes to the trustee for money, the trustee can realize that something is wrong and prevent your loved one from being exploited.

An older person can also give one of their family members their financial power of attorney. This allows that person to make financial decisions for them. Vulnerable adults can protect many of their assets in this way.

The only other thing to mention is that a trustee or someone with power of attorney needs to be trustworthy. These tools can be damaging in the hands of the wrong person.

Schedule a Consultation

It can be hard to promise that any estate plan will offer absolute protection, but we think that having a few extra walls between your loved one’s assets and someone who would take advantage of them is a good idea. If you want to protect any vulnerable adults in your life, consider contacting the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman. We can tell you more about what we can do to be of assistance.

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