Five Warning Signs of Undue Influencer During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

Fortin Law Group

Published: June 18, 2021

It’s an unfortunate fact that predators and bad actors emerge during times of upheaval to take advantage of people. That means the COVID-19 pandemic can leave your parents vulnerable in more ways than one. But even after things return to normal, this chronic problem of financial exploitation will still be a risk.

It happens far too often, unfortunately. Perhaps, your elderly parents live several hours away, in another state or country, and someone in their community gets close to them. Or maybe they have a close relationship with a financial advisor who isn’t looking out for their (or your) best interests. This person could even be another family member, friend, business partner, hired caregiver, professional advisor, or even someone they’ve just met.

Sometimes, when bad actors become involved with parents’ lives and assets, it can lead not only to a loss of money but even a loss of personal freedom.

The following are five warning signs that your parent may be the victim of an undue influencer:

1. Preventing important communication between family members;
2. Withholding documents from other family members;
3. Encouraging financial gifts or economic benefits to recently-met connections (usually in the same network as your parents’ “new friend”);
4. Naming recently-met connections as attorney-in-fact (under a financial power of attorney), or as a joint owner on financial accounts, real estate, and other assets;
5. Giving financial advice that may not be in your or your parent's best interests, but rather in the interests of the advisor.

Start a dialogue of open communication with your parents about how they would like their affairs handled. Encourage them to plan for their assets, healthcare, and financial interests to keep their loved ones out of harm, court, and conflict.

Fortin Law Group is here to help. We don’t just draft documents; we help your parents make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for themselves and the people they love. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

This article was provided by Fortin Law Group, Laguna Niguel, California. This article is intended to provide the reader with general information regarding current legal issues. It is not construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for the need to seek competent legal advice on specific legal matters.

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