As your loved one aged into retirement, you knew that he already had an estate plan in place. You knew what would happen if he fell ill and what to expect after death.
Your loved one was always careful with money and planned to leave it to several of his family members. However, when the time came, that money was nowhere to be found. The estate is a shell of what it once was, and there's no obvious explanation.
What may have happened, you believe, is that your loved one was a victim of exploitation. That's completely possible, and it does affect his estate. Financial elder abuse can slowly leech funds out of an account or result in someone who isn't family being added to a will.
How does financial exploitation happen?
In all likelihood, the person who committed the abuse obtained access to your loved one's funds by putting pressure on your loved one. For example, the offender may have threatened or coerced your elderly family member to add the offender to the estate plan as a beneficiary, or the offender may have allowed the elderly party to write large checks out of his personal account, with the elderly person thinking the money would go to his son or daughter. Elderly people often get confused, and that confusion is sometimes taken advantage of.
What can you do if you believe financial abuse took place?
If you believe your loved one is a victim of financial abuse, you have every right to be concerned and to talk to a lawyer about what you know. If you believe you know who took advantage of your loved one and have evidence, there may be a chance to regain that property.
Financial abuse can hurt everyone involved in an elderly person's life. If you think it took place or is taking place, speak up now and know your legal options.