Older American citizens are vulnerable to many kinds of abuse and exploitation. Financial abuse, in particular, is a risk for all elders including those in the Jackson region of Missouri. Elders often fall victim to scams targeting older people, and they could even suffer financial abuse at the hands of a care provider or a family member.

The problem is so pervasive that the National Center on Elder Abuse cites financial abuse as something that costs older citizens nearly $3 billion each year. If you are aging, this information probably causes you a great deal of distress. You may wonder how you can protect your financial legacy and keep yourself safe from costly scams or abuses as you age.

An effective strategy for protecting yourself from financial abuse is to create a sound estate plan by working with an elder law attorney. An elder law attorney is a great source of information, advice and representation for seniors. Meeting with an elder law attorney allows you to provide details about the kind of plans you have for your future, your goals for your estate and what you would like to see happen if you are no longer able to make your own decisions.

In turn, your lawyer will take the details you provide and help you create an estate plan that protects you against abuses. This typically means setting up financial powers of attorney, thinking ahead about a potential guardianship and making sure your will and other legal documents reflects your potential needs. Having an elder law attorney also makes it easier for you to regularly review these important documents and make changes as needed.

Getting an estate plan in place doesn’t mean the end of your life. It means that you’re taking steps to preserve your way of life as long as possible.