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How can you help elderly parents avoid estate planning scams?

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Estate Planning

As parents age, the need to protect them from potential scams becomes increasingly important. Estate planning scams, in particular, have become more prevalent over the years.

Talking to them about the tactics scammers use can help them learn about how they should respond in these situations.

Educate them

One of the most effective ways to protect your elderly parents is through education. Familiarize them with common estate planning scams, such as fake charities, fraudulent investment opportunities or insurance schemes.

Americans over the age of 50 lost over a collective $1.8 billion due to cybercrime in 2020. By arming them with knowledge, you empower your parents to recognize and avoid potential threats.

Encourage caution

Scammers often use communication methods, such as phone calls, emails or even door-to-door visits, to exploit the elderly. Encourage your parents to exercise caution when dealing with unfamiliar people. Advise them not to share personal information, especially financial details, without verifying the legitimacy of the source.

Promote independent verification

In the world of estate planning scams, scammers may use impressive-sounding titles to gain trust. Emphasize the importance of independent verification.

Encourage your parents to research and verify the legitimacy of anyone claiming to be a financial advisor, consultant or service provider. Real professionals will not hesitate to provide credible references and information.

Stress the importance of privacy settings

Scammers often exploit online platforms to target the elderly. Remind your parents to adjust their privacy settings on social media platforms.

Advise them to be cautious about sharing personal information online as well. Scammers often use online information to personalize their approaches.

Empower them

Scammers often employ high-pressure tactics to manipulate their targets. Empower your elderly parents to say “no” and end conversations with anyone pressuring them into making hasty decisions. Reinforce the idea that real professionals respect their clients’ decisions and will not engage in coercive tactics.

Protecting elderly parents from estate planning scams requires patience and reassurance on your part. By arming them with knowledge about common scams, you provide them with the tools to navigate the complex landscape of estate planning without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.