When people get to their retirement years, they are often counting on the savings and assets they have accumulated during their lifetime to pay for whatever they need. Unfortunately, there are those who try to take advantage of these people and victims may not have full cognitive and physical abilities due to their age. There are laws in Florida and elsewhere to protect seniors from elder financial abuse, which is often perpetrated by family members of the older person. However, one recent out-of-state case shows that sometimes elder abuse can come from outside the family as well.
Though modern technology has brought Florida families together in many ways, it is not without risk. The availability of information online has made everyone more vulnerable, but elderly people may be more susceptible to online scams. Some estimates say that as many as 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 have been affected by financial fraud of some kind. Fortunately, financial experts have several pieces of advice for those who want to avoid becoming a victim of this kind of elder abuse.
Older adults are a vulnerable group of people. Their loved ones often worry for their safety and will do whatever is needed to ensure they receive a proper level of care. When Florida families make the choice to put the elder in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they trust that the caregivers will treat the elders with the same level of attention to detail as they would themselves. Sadly, that doesn't always happen, as illustrated by a recent out-of-state trial where one man has been convicted of elder abuse and manslaughter.
It is sometimes difficult to assess when the duties of a primary caregiver must give way to institutional or professional caregiving for a spouse, parent or other loved one. Nearly half of family caregivers nationwide and in Florida who are 75 and older are caring for a spouse or partner, according to a 2015 report. Caregiving by an elderly spouse may go on until the loved one is approaching full incapacity and cannot participate in assisting any longer or where terminal illness is diagnosed. Consultation with an elder law attorney is therefore desirable and may be more effective if it is arranged early enough in one's retirement years.
It is highly recommended that the many retired persons residing in Florida engage in a process of elder law planning to protect the security of their remaining years. Engaging in elder law research to learn the ins and outs of long-term care planning could provide great benefits. Many people may assume that they will be maintained in their homes until death, but it does not always turn out that way.
Studies pertaining to Florida and nationwide indicate surprisingly that cognitive decline regarding sound financial decisions may begin to occur when one is in his or her 30s. It may not be noticeable, but the gradual toll may occur over the next several decades and may lead to a point where it is to some degree noticeable. Researchers have discovered that persons in their 70s, 80s and beyond can be capable of keeping up with the more basic tasks, such as paying bills, the mortgage and conducting most or all everyday living tasks. For these reasons, some preliminary elder law planning can help in meeting any future challenges.
Elder law planning in Florida is a vital concern to most persons approaching their retirement years. It is a subject that is best addressed as early as possible. Adequate advance planning can allow for maximum protection against a less-than-optimal experience in one's later years. To have the most control over one's life and to assure that the most trusted family members or friends are given authority in the event of incapacity, elder law planning is the best way to prepare.