Asset protection is important for seniors because many people like to target the elderly with scams. As a senior becomes older and unable to manage his or her own affairs, asset protection tools can allow the senior’s property to be managed for him. Seniors can also make provisions to ensure their assets are not going to be lost due to estate taxes or nursing home bills by getting the right legal help with asset protection.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC understands all of the unique challenges which seniors face, from fraud schemes to high nursing home bills to concerns about asset transfer after death. We can provide comprehensive assistance to seniors and their family members. Our Suffolk County asset protection lawyers will work with you to ensure all of your nest egg is kept safe after you have worked so hard your whole life to build wealth.
Asset protection issues change as people get older, in part because the elderly are so often targets of schemes to defraud. Just recently, Long Island.com reported on a tax scam which was specifically targeting seniors. U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer issued warnings about the scheme.
Long Island Tax Scam Targets Seniors
The tax scam described by Long Island.com involves people posing as IRS agents. The scammers contact victims (who are often seniors) and tell the victims they have to pay a bill totaling thousands of dollars.
During the scam phone call, scammers tell victims they must pay immediately or could face arrest, court action, and deportation. The scammers urge the victims to go to the nearest Wal-Mart to get a pre-paid debit card. Victims are also told they can send the money via wire transfer.
Scammers may urge seniors to send money by actually speaking to them on the phone, or can leave a so-called “urgent message” on the answering machine of the senior. The numbers the scammers are calling from usually appear to be Washington D.C. area codes, but they are masked with fake caller ID numbers.
The Inspector General for Tax Administration indicates the IRS has received more than 896,000 scam reports of scams since October 2013. More than 5,000 victims have lost close to $26.5 million dollars because they sent money in response to the scam phone calls.
U.S. Senator Schumer believes money transfer companies can provide better protection to consumrs by issuing a specific warning about this particular scam. Wal-Mart could also possibly help to stop people from buying the pre-paid debit cards and sending them to the scammers. He also called upon the Federal Bureau of Investigations to redouble its scam-fighting efforts in New York because there are an increasing number of constituents calling his office to complain of being scammed.
Scams like this on are unfortunately always going to happen, despite the fact they are illegal. It is up to seniors and their family members to be aware of the risk of scams and to try to take steps to protect vulnerable seniors from losing money or assets.
Asset Protection for the Elderly
Asset protection for seniors is usually primarily focused not on scams, but on things like making sure money isn’t all spent on high nursing home bills. However, seniors face an increased risk of being scammed once they begin to experience cognitive decline as a result of aging. As a person gets older and develops medical conditions and mental impairments, it may become important for family members to take over in managing the senior’s affairs.
Planning for this possible eventuality is a big part of the asset protection services which estate planning attorneys customarily provide. Seniors can create a power of attorney and name an agent who will act for them when they are incapacitated. This person can take over management of affairs and can help to make sure no senior is scammed out of money.
How a Suffolk County Asset Protection Lawyer Can Help
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC understands the vulnerabilities seniors face, especially if they begin to develop physical or mental conditions that affect their judgment and abilities. Our Suffolk County asset protection lawyers work hard to help seniors to cope with and manage all of the effects of aging, including loss of ability to manage financial affairs.
To learn more about how we can assist you, give us a call at(631) 265-0599 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team . You can also download our comprehensive estate planning checklist to learn more about the different asset protection tools which could potentially be available to you.