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New York elder law: Many seniors vulnerable to financial abuses

The elderly are some of the most vulnerable people in society. Elder law in New York aims to protect seniors, yet there are times when some people fall prey to unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of many seniors' trusting natures. Sadly, in some instances, these individuals are the very people these seniors trust most.

Knowing the risks that go along with becoming an victim of financial abuse is the first step in thwarting it. Seniors who are most susceptible are those who have declining mental health (suffering from dementia) or who are very physically unhealthy to the point of needing assistance in their day-to-day lives. Seniors who have a comfortable nest egg are doubly at risk.

Criminal sorts actually seek out seniors because they believe they're easy targets who have money. Gaining the trust of a senior who is isolated and vulnerable is not overly difficult. And many of these people believe that seniors won't report these crimes for fear of embarrassment. The more education seniors receive about financial abuses, the better they will be able to protect themselves from possibly having their entire life savings drained by scam artists. 

Changing state and federal laws have made elder issues complex. Seniors can get added protection from being financially raked over the coals by having some planning documents in place. A New York attorney experienced in elder law can assist people in fashioning these documents such as living wills, Medicaid plans, plans for special needs, health care proxies, advance care directives and guardianships. 

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