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Public Official Accused Of Financial Abuse Of Nonagenarian


For many reasons, aging in place is less glamorous than it sounds.  When estate planning lawyers show you diagrams of where you will have to install the railings so that you can lift yourself off of the toilet, it is enough to make anyone invest in long-term care insurance so that they can move to an assisted living facility before it gets to the point where they are all alone in such a big house where the toilet is so far away.  Even before things get to that point, though, living alone is a bummer.  Getting broken fixtures and faulty appliances in your home repaired is much harder when you are retired.  When you are in the workforce, you can call the maintenance companies during your break at work and set up an appointment to make the repairs on your next day off from work.  For retirees, though, every day is a day off and every hour is a break; the days and weeks blur together, and the months and years go by as the things in your house that need repair pile up.  If you get to this point and a stranger unexpectedly shows up and offers to help, things are probably about to get worse, as an elderly Orlando woman recently discovered.  To make plans that prevent situations where you are alone and vulnerable, contact an Orlando estate planning lawyer.

Beware When New Friends Appear Out of Nowhere With Advice About Your Finances

When Orlando residents told City Commissioner Regina Hill about a 93-year-old neighbor of theirs who lived alone and whose house was in disrepair, she decided to intervene.  Hill visited the woman at home, promised to make repairs to the woman’s house, and gave her a paper to sign so that she could begin arranging for the repairs.  The woman did not know this at the time, but the paper she signed was a power of attorney, which gave Hill wide-ranging control over the woman’s finances.

That was in 2021, and now the elderly woman is 96 years old and $100,000 poorer.  Using the powers granted to her by the POA, Hill applied for a home mortgage in the woman’s name and bought a house that Hill herself occupied.  She also used the woman’s money to get cosmetic surgery and to travel to Miami for New Year’s.

Hill has not yet faced criminal charges, but she could be charged with defrauding a person over the age of 60.  The story is a grim reminder of how common financial abuse of elderly people is, and how it can come from anyone.  Everyone knows to be wary of love bomb emails from strangers, but people who approach you in person and seem overly eager to be your friend and give you financial advice are a red flag, too.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Protecting Yourself Against Financial Abuse

An estate planning lawyer can help you protect yourself against fraud and other forms of elder abuse.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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