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Financial Elder Abuse

Financial of Fiduciary Abuse is defined as the illegal or improper use of an elder's funds, property, or assets or the conversion or misappropriation of such property for uses other than for the elder.

Financial exploitation can range from misuse of an elder’s funds to embezzlement. Financial exploitation includes fraud, taking money under false pretenses, forgery, forced property transfers, purchasing expensive items with the older person’s money without the older person’s knowledge or permission, or denying the older person access to his or her own funds or home. It includes the improper use of legal guardianship arrangements, powers of attorney, or conservatorships. It also includes a variety of scams perpetrated by sales people for health-related services, mortgage companies, and financial managers—or even by so-called friends.


Other indications of financial abuse are as follows:

  • Life circumstances don’t match with the size of the estate or changing ownership of property
  • Large withdrawals from bank accounts, switching accounts, unusual ATM activity, changing an address on an account
  • Signatures on checks don't match elder’s signature
  • Improper use of power of attorney, conservatorship, guardianship