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Elder and Dependent Abuse Unit

Financial Abuse

Financial or material exploitation is defined as the illegal or improper use of an elder/dependent adult's funds, property, or assets. Examples include:

  • Cashing an elder/dependent adult's checks without authorization/permission
  • Forging an elder/dependent adult's signature
  • Misusing or stealing an elder/dependent adult's money or possessions
  • Coercing or deceiving an elder/dependent adult into signing any document (e.g., contracts or will)
  • Misusing conservatorship, guardianship, or power of attorney.

Signs and symptoms of financial or material exploitation include (but are not limited to):

  • Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder/dependent adult
  • The inclusion of additional names on an elder/dependent adult's bank signature card
  • Unauthorized withdrawal of the elder/dependent adult's funds using their ATM card
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents
  • Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions
  • Substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources
  • Discovery of an elder/dependent adult's signature being forged for financial transactions or for the titles of his/her possessions
  • Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to an elder/dependent adult's affairs and possessions
  • Unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family
  • The provision of services that are not necessary
  • An elder/dependent adult's report of financial exploitation