How Can I Help Protect My Grandparent's? - Top 10 Ways to Be a Part of their Legal Team

For the aging population, risks can lurk around every corner; criminals and predators do not always look the part of the masked villain and spotting crime is not easy. These criminals live in a digital age and thrive on confusion and talking in circles that can make the elderly susceptible to fraud. 

So how do you help protect your grandparents and be a part of their legal team? These top 10 strategies can help:

1. Help them obtain a durable power of attorney for asset management. This will require a long-term commitment by whoever is in charge. Limits should be incorporated within the document to defray attempts to abuse the power of attorney.

2. Discuss and support a living will or a healthcare advance directive. These may not secure assets, but they will ensure that your grandparents’ wishes are carried out if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves due to illness or incapacitation.

3. Assist them in preparing a comprehensive estate plan. Not only can it minimize the probate process, it also saves families a lot of headaches. It helps to ensure that your grandparents’ assets go where they want them to go.

4. Advise them to never give out personal data or financial information over the Internet, through e-mails or mail, or on the phone. If someone calls requesting such information, hang up, take their number, verify it, and call them back only if the number checks out.

5. If your grandparent recently suffered the loss of a loved one or spouse who handled their financial affairs, help set them up with an expert that they can trust and knows the needs of the elderly.

6. If your grandparent was recently diagnosed with or suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or another diagnosis that will greatly affect their future, help connect them to experts that can help chart their future and secure their assets.

7. Have a conversation about money and reiterate you want to support them not control or take away their independence. Having a conversation about money can be hard so make sure you are well informed and have experts to rely on if needed.

8. Help them shred or destroy canceled checks, documents containing personal information that they don’t need, and receipts with credit card numbers. Do not throw them away in a trash can.

9. Help them obtain a free credit report every year. Review it with them for any discrepancies, including inquiries, new credit accounts, address changes, and suspicious charges.

10. Stay connected to not only your grandparent but also other family and friends in their life so you are all on the same page.

Protecting grandparents can be a large hill to climb, but with the help of experts in the field of elder law, peace of mind is around the corner. Ensure your grandparents are protected today and schedule a complimentary consultation with Elder Law of Omaha at 402.614.6400.