Who Is Controlling Your Finances?

Exploitation of senior citizens is on the rise. Often we think of this in terms of scammers who call to steal money by using lies about past due bills and fake social security scams. While these scammers bombard seniors daily with a multitude of calls, they are not the only perpetrators that we need to watch out for.

Many financial crimes against seniors are committed by those that know them best. Just recently, a warrant for the arrest Lawrence Greer was issued. Lawrence Greer of Clay, Kentucky was given power of attorney over his step-mother. He then embezzled her money. You can read more about what happened here.

While this situation cannot be prevented, you can reduce the risk of giving control of your finances to the wrong person. Here are five considerations when choosing an agent for your power of attorney:

  1. Family Dynamics: What is the relationship of the person you are considering as your agent with your other loved ones? Will that person be able to deal with your spouse, your children, other family members? Can they carry out your wishes despite what other family members may want them to do?
  2. Does the person you are considering have a spouse who supports their decisions, or will that spouse try to control their actions?
  3. Does the person you are considering as your agent have problem-solving skills? Is he or she able to compromise if necessary, but stand firm on your wishes?
  4. Does the person you are considering have financial issues or personal beliefs that may interfere with your wishes?
  5. Is the person you are considering as your agent also a beneficiary of your estate? If so, does it make sense for them to also be in charge of managing your finances?

If you are having trouble deciding on an agent for your power of attorney, consider speaking to an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. Your estate planning attorney has the necessary knowledge and skills to help you make choices that are right for you. We are here to help. Call 904-397-4444 for a complimentary consultation.