I’m an older adult. How do I know if I’m being financially abused?
Question & AnswerI’m an older adult. How do I know if I’m being financially abused?
3. Plan for your future
If you can, plan for your future while you're still independent and understand what your decisions mean. This includes things like:
- making a will and giving a copy to a trusted person so you won't be easily pressured into changing it
- making a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
Making a Power of Attorney
Powers of Attorney are written documents that give someone the ability to make decisions for you. This person is called your “attorney”. But this does not mean that they have to be a lawyer.
A Power of Attorney for Property lets your attorney act for you in dealing with your money and property.
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care lets your attorney make decisions about your personal care if you become of making them.
Be careful about who you choose to be your attorney. Make sure you trust them and know that they will respect your wishes.
If you have problems with your attorney
If your attorney does not do what you want them to, there are steps you can take.
As long as you're , you can:
- cancel your Power of Attorney at any time, and
- demand that your attorney tell you what they did with your finances. This is called a full financial accounting.
This means that your attorney must say:
- what money they spent
- how and when they spent it
- who they paid your money to
- why they spent it
If you're not mentally capable
Even if you're mentally incapable, you can still demand a full accounting from your attorney.
If you ask your attorney for a full accounting and they refuse, talk to a lawyer. They'll help you apply for a court order that says your attorney must do this.
You or someone else can also report that your attorney has been stealing or misusing your money to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. This government office can investigate claims of serious financial abuse if a person is mentally incapable.
You can call them at 1-800-366-0335 or 416-327-6348.