Elder Financial Abuse Examined

Nov 14, 2011

When planning for retirement, older Kentuckians need to be suspicious.  Too often their finances are devastated by a person they trusted.  Such financial abuse was the focus of a forum today in Lexington.  Among the participants in the day-long seminar was Mark Goodloe, who’s elderly parents live  in Lexington.  When it comes to managing their finances, Goodloe learned it pays to be skeptical.  “It’s going to be like an ongoing plan..estate planning…nutrition… exercise….all these plans have to be ready to implement,” said Goodloe.

The conference at the new U-K hospital also attracted physicians.  Emery Willson, who’s a former Dean of U-K’s College of Medicine, says financial abuse by a relative, friend or some other loved-one is not always blatantly clear,

“You know the health professionals have the opportunity to diagnose this problem…I just don’t think they do because so many don’t feel they have the time with each patient to get into that type of social history,” added Wilson.

Attorney Shari Polur, who practices elder law in Louisville, shared such a story.  Polur was asked to help in the transfer ownership of a house from  father to his son, without the father being present to sign the necessary documents.

“After the third time, the son cancelled the appointment because dad had fallen and tried to convince me to send papers for dad to sign….I said….look…I cannot have you sign papers out of my sight…it’s unethical for me to do that and I’m sure you wouldn’t want someone to challenge this,” said Polur.

Studies indicate 20 to 25 percent of the elderly are  abused in some form.