We have covered how wills can be contested because of possible undue influence. While it is unfortunate, there are individuals out there who intend to take advantage of the elderly in order to gain something either through a power of attorney or inheritance. If you ask a NY estate attorney, it happens a lot more often than you think in the Big Apple.
It is actually becoming a cause for concern by other professionals such as bankers and doctors. They are now getting more and more involved in undue influence cases. The Wall Street Journal reports that more doctors are getting involved in a program where they can detect possible victims of financial fraud. It seems that older adults who have mild cognitive impairment may have trouble with managing their finances. This can lead to fraud or undue influence.
This all leads to a situation that can be a cause of concern for anyone with an elderly parent or relative. Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that older patients have changes in the front part of their brain that make them "less risk averse." This in turn makes them more likely to be vulnerable to taking financial risks.
The scary part is that financial abuse of the elderly costs them approximately $2.6 billion a year, according to a MetLife study. And those people who want to take advantage of the elderly are aware of the opportunity. Denise Voigt Crawford, the Texas securities commissioner told the Wall Street Journal: "If you live long enough, you are likely to experience some cognitive decline. The scam artists know this." She said that with baby boomers coming of age, individuals trying to take advantage of them are "looking at a field day."
Make sure that you meet with a New York estate planning lawyer. If you have a relative or parent who you may feel is experiencing pressure to take financial risks, or is being influenced by caretaker, a lawyer can assess what legal remedies you have in order to get that family member out of a bad situation.
- Contesting A Will (FindLaw's New York Estate Planning Blog)
- Find A NY Estate Attorney (FindLaw)
- Gail Posner and Her Son's Battle With Her Estate Continues (FindLaw's New York Estate Planning Blog)