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Signs of Elder Abuse

Signs of Elder Abuse

Physical, mental & financial warning signals.

 

Provided by MidAmerica Financial Resources

  

Is someone taking advantage of someone you love? June 15 is World Elder Abuse Prevention Day, a day to call attention to a crisis that may become even more common as baby boomers enter the “third acts” of their lives.1 

 

Every year, more than half a million American elders are abused or neglected. That estimate comes from the Centers for Disease Control, and the frequency of elder abuse may be greater as so many elders are afraid or simply unable to speak out about what is happening to them. In some cases, the abuse is limited to financial exploitation. In other cases, it may encompass neglect and physical or emotional cruelty.1

    

What should you watch out for? Different varieties of elder abuse have different signals, some less obvious than others.

 

Neglect. This is commonly defined as withholding or failing to supply necessities of daily living to an elder, from food, water and appropriate clothing to necessary hygiene and medicines. Signals are easily detectable and include physical signs such as bedsores, malnutrition and dehydration and flawed living conditions (i.e., faulty electrical wiring, fleas or cockroaches, inadequate heat or air conditioning).

 

Self-neglect also surfaces, stemming from the declining physical or mental capacity of an elder. If he or she foregoes proper hygiene, disdains needed medications or medical aids, or persists in living in an insect-ridden, filthy or fire-hazardous dwelling, intervene to try and change their environment for the better, for their health and safety.

 

Finally, neglect may also take financial form. If someone who has assumed a fiduciary duty to pay for assisted living, nursing home care or at-home health care fails to do so, that is a form of neglect which may be defined as elder abuse. The same goes for an in-home eldercare service provider that fails to provide an adequate degree or frequency of care.2

 

Abandonment. This occurs when a caregiver or responsible party flat-out deserts an elder – dropping him or her off at a nursing home, a hospital, or even a bus or train station with no plans to return. Hopefully, the elder has the presence of mind to call for help, but if not, a tragic situation will quickly worsen. When an elderly person seems to stay in one place for hours and appears confused or deserted, it is time to get to the bottom of what just happened for his or her safety.

   

Physical abuse. Bruises and lacerations are evident signals, but other indicators are less evident: sprains and dislocations, cracked eyeglass lenses, impressions on the arms or legs from restraints, too much or too little medication, or a strange reticence, silence or fearfulness or other behavioral changes in the individual.

   

Emotional or psychological abuse. How do you know if an elder has been verbally degraded, tormented, or threatened in your absence, or left in isolation? If the elder is not willing or able to let you know about such wrongdoing, watch for signals such as withdrawal from conversation or communication, agitation or distress, and repetitive or obsessive-compulsive actions linked to dementia such as rocking, biting or sucking.2

   

Financial abuse. When an unscrupulous relative, friend or other party uses an elder's funds, property, or assets illegally or dishonestly, this is financial exploitation of the elderly. This runs all the way from withdrawing an elder’s savings with his or her ATM card to forgery to improperly assuming conservatorship or power of attorney.2

     

How do you spot it? Delve into the elder’s financial life and see if you detect things like strange ATM withdrawals or account activity, additional names on a bank signature card, changes to beneficiary forms, or the sudden absence of collectibles or valuables.

 

Examine signatures on financial transactions – on closer examination, do they appear to be authentic, or studied forgeries? Have assets been inexplicably transferred to long-uninvolved heirs or relatives, or worse yet apparent strangers? Have eldercare bills gone unpaid recently? Is the level of eldercare being provided oddly slipshod given the financial resources being devoted to it?

       

Respect your elders; protect your elders. Some people aim to exploit senior citizens. Others simply don’t recognize or respect the responsibilities that come with eldercare. Whether the abuse is intentional or not, the emotional, physical or financial harm done can be reprehensible. Talk to or check in on your parents, grandparents, siblings or other elders you know and care for to see that they are free from such abuse.

   

MidAmerica Financial Resources may be reached at 618.548.4777 or greg.malan@natplan.com.

www.mid-america.us

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

     

Citations.

1 - cdc.gov/features/elderabuse/ [6/9/14]

2 - ncea.aoa.gov/FAQ/Type_Abuse/index.aspx [2/10/15]


Charitable Remainder Trusts

 

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Killing Several Birds with One Stone

 

Provided by MidAmerica Financial Resources

 

In planning for your retirement, you may face several financial issues.  Maybe you’d like to generate retirement income, but want to minimize the taxes on investments you’ve held for several years.  Perhaps you’d like to minimize your income taxes during retirement.  You also might like to reduce the size of your taxable estate so more of your money goes to your heirs.  Finally, you may want to create a legacy or support a cause, church or charity that is close to your heart.

 

A Charitable Remainder Trust may help you realize all these objectives. How does a CRT work? A CRT is a tax-exempt irrevocable trust.  A trust is simply your instructions for the management of all or part of your property.  An attorney who represents you and has specific expertise in the area of estate planning should write your trust.  The trust document describes:

 

*How you want your assets managed, and eventually dispersed.

*Who you want to benefit now and in the future.

*Who you want responsible for carrying out these instructions.

 

You can transfer cash and highly appreciated assets to a CRT, and in return, you may arrange to receive income for life or a specified stretch of time (not to exceed 20 years). Income may potentially be paid out of the CRT not only during your lifetime, but also over the lifetimes of your heirs.  Eventually, a percentage of the assets in the CRT go to charities or non-profits of your choice.1

 

In brief, the CRT gives you a chance to:

 

*gain a current income tax deduction

*avoid estate taxes on the gifted assets

*create an income stream

*achieve tax-free compounding of assets (until withdrawn from the CRT)

*sell assets with a low cost basis without incurring capital gains taxes2

 

The transfer of assets to a CRT qualifies as a charitable contribution, thereby allowing you to take an income tax deduction based upon the estimated present value of the remainder interest that will eventually go to charity.1

 

As a CRT is an irrevocable trust, assets transferred into it are no longer included in your taxable estate – though you do retain an interest in the gift or transfer.1

 

A CRT does have some disadvantages. The word to keep in mind here is “irrevocable.” When you set up a CRT, you are signaling to the Internal Revenue Service that those assets will have one of two destinies. Either they will go to your heirs and charity when you die, or you will withdraw them before you die and pay the resulting taxes on the withdrawal. In the meantime, you need to make sure that you have enough money outside the trust to provide for any needs you may have.

 

A second disadvantage in using a CRT is that the income tax deduction for charitable giving does have limits. These limits may prevent the entire amount from being used to lower your income tax. Those planning to utilize a trust should consult with an attorney, who should draft a personalized document to conform to the then current laws of the appropriate jurisdiction. 

 

What about your heirs? On the surface, a CRT would seem to present a family with one huge disadvantage. After all, it tells the IRS that you plan to leave a bunch of your money to charity – and that money is also removed from your estate.

 

So the question naturally comes up: “If I do this, am I going to disinherit my kids?” There’s a way around that. A good CRT strategy actually involves two trusts. Besides the CRT, you can set up a parallel wealth replacement trust funded with life insurance.

 

Through this irrevocable life insurance trust, your heirs may receive a proper inheritance. The wealth replacement trust is ideally administered so that its death benefit is at least equal to the value of the gifted assets. So when you pass away, the CRT transfers its assets to charities and your heirs receive tax-free life insurance proceeds.1

 

To use life insurance, however, you’ll need to be insurable. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure the benefits of the CRT outweigh the costs of the life insurance premiums.

    

MidAmerica Financial Resources may be reached at 618.548.4777 or greg.malan@natplan.com.

www.mid-america.us

 

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

   

Citations.

1 - charitabletrust.com/pdf/crt-handbook.pdf [2013]

2 - ca-trusts.com/crt.html [2014]





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