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Signs a vulnerable adult may require a power of attorney

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2021 | Firm News |

Adults who rely on caregivers may show signs of individuals taking advantage of them. As reported by, vulnerable adults face risks of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

Abuse may include physical or verbal harm. Signs of physical mistreatment such as bruises may require a medical exam to uncover the source. Neglected adults may appear unusually agitated, irritable or shy around relatives.

Symptoms of financial exploitation may appear

Financial abuse symptoms often go unnoticed. They may not attract attention until a vulnerable adult experiences a significant loss of money. Missing funds may require looking into spending patterns.

Signs of exploitation may include a stranger or close relative isolating an adult from loved ones. The vulnerable individual may then receive coercive threats to withdraw a large sum of money from a bank account. The amount, however, may reflect more than how much an adult needs to spend on necessary living expenses.

A power of attorney may curtail harmful actions

A power of attorney authorizes a named agent to make financial or health care decisions on behalf of a vulnerable adult. As noted by U.S. News, a POA provides a trusted agent with authorization to legally access online financial accounts. With the ability to take control of a bank account electronically, the named agent may monitor transactions online. The individual may also set up automatic payments and arrange for alerts to track spending.

A POA generally authorizes a named agent to sign checks and paperwork on behalf of an aging adult who needs assistance. Recognizing the signs of financial exploitation may help determine if an adult faces a risk of harm.