Signs of elder financial abuse can include but aren't limited to unexplained bank withdrawals, unpaid bills, and indications that the care being provided doesn't correlate with the size of a person's estate. Outside of buying an in-home lie detector for your prospective power of attorney, what can you do?
Experts I spoke with suggest establishing a checks-and-balance system. Instead of automatically handing over power of attorney to your firstborn, you include a couple of younger siblings as well or maybe some trusted nonrelatives.
Joseph Snyder, director of older adult protective services at the Philadelphia Corp. for Aging, also advises signing up for a professional service such as EverSafe, which allows a third person to get an alert when something happens outside the norm on accounts.
"Anybody can be a victim. Anybody can be a perpetrator," said Snyder, whose agency investigates elder abuse.