One of the main problems when it comes to elder financial abuse is that too many people simply don’t understand when they are participating in this form of abuse. Parents and grandparents love their children enough that they want to give them everything that they can, but there comes a point when it is the child or grandchild’s responsibility to refuse that help.
When an elderly person gives away money or assets, they may not be in their right mind, or they may not realize that this money may be necessary for survival at some later time. For example, if grandma gives her house to you as a gift and a couple of years later she needs to enter a nursing home, she will be penalized for giving away assets and may not qualify for Medicaid.
Of course, there is always that one relative that goes to mom and dad for help on a constant basis. This person may have been doing this from the time they left home, and is still doing it as mom or dad is getting ready to enter a nursing home. Though helping children when they are young and just starting out is understandable, after that person is old enough to provide for him or herself, it is no longer acceptable to go to their parents for money. This could be considered financial abuse.
If your parent or grandparent is trying to give you money or assets that would not be considered a normal gift, you will want to gently refuse that gift. In the event that someone in the family is milking the elderly person for money on a constant basis, it is the family’s responsibility to see that the person understands what they are doing to their elderly loved one.
Although a parent or a grandparent will not usually sue to get back money they have given to their children, that person’s estate or trust can and probably will, when mom or dad becomes incapacitated due to dementia or some other type of illness.
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