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‘They left us with nothing’: This elderly couple was evicted from their home of 20 years, after their son transferred ownership. Here are 3 ways to avoid being exploited as you get older

‘They left us with nothing’: This elderly couple was evicted from their home of 20 years, after their son transferred ownership. Here are 3 ways to avoid being exploited as you get older

An elderly California couple was devastated when they received an eviction notice in April for the home they had been making regular payments on for two decades.

Ismael and Angelita Ramírez bought their house in 2003 with their son, who told them they did not need to include his name on the title.

“He told us that they told him that it was not necessary. And well, since we don’t know English, they lied to us,” Ismael told FOX26 News.

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The eviction notice reportedly said the homeowner was selling the property and the couple said they later learned that their son had transferred the house to a woman who sent them the notice. Although the couple tried to get legal help, the lawyer couldn’t do much since the house was not in their name.

“We thought, why would our son do that to us if he knew the house was ours?” Ismael said.

Elder Financial Abuse Affects Millions of Americans

The Ramirezes were victims of elder abuse, which is much more common than it seems.

In fact, the National Council on Aging reports Up to five million older Americans are affected each year, while victims of financial abuse are estimated to lose at least $36.5 billion annually.

And in nearly 60% of cases, the perpetrator is a family member, often the victim’s adult child or spouse.

The Ramirezes told FOX26 that they have since been displaced and their Social Security income is not enough to buy a new house or even pay rent.

“They left us with nothing,” Ismael said.

His other son, Ismael Jr., created a GoFundMe Fundraiserwhich has already received more than 1,400 donations to help the couple.

Here are five ways to avoid being exploited as you get older, or protect your elderly parents of predators.

1. Designate a power of attorney

A power of attorney (POA) allows someone to act on your behalf in legal or business matters, and you can name this person while you are in control of your mental faculties.

Designating a financial power of attorney allows someone to manage your financial affairs, such as signing and mailing checks, filing tax returns, and managing investments on your behalf. They may have specific, limited powers, or broader capabilities.

But the most important thing is to be careful who you choose to safeguard your finances, as the Ramirezes learned firsthand. You should only appoint someone you really trust, but you can tell your (trusted) friends and family about your POA so they can take care of you. You may also request that your agent notify another person to be responsible for any transactions they make on your behalf.

Read more: Thanks to Jeff Bezos, now you can use $100 to cash in on prime real estate — without the headache of ownership. That is how

2. Keep track of your credit history

Make sure you’re always keeping an eye on your financial statements: Look for things like suspicious charges you never authorized or new credit cards and loans opened in your name.

You can even consider hiring a credit monitoring service to help you detect these errors.

And if you notice anything suspicious, be sure to notify your bank or credit union about the unauthorized transaction as soon as possible so they can investigate the problem.

3. Consult a (good) financial advisor

speaking to a financial advisor on how to manage your money can be extremely helpful, as long as you choose the right option.

To avoid being taken advantage of, you must Do your research. Analyze your potential advisor’s credentials, experience, and reviews, and be sure to ask plenty of questions to gauge whether they’re the right person for you.

4. Beware of scams

People of all ages fall for scams all the time, but older adults can be especially vulnerable. In 2022, adults over 60 years of age reported 88,262 reports to the FBI’s Internet Crime Reporting Center, equivalent to a total loss of $3.1 billion.

These may include cryptocurrency scams and romancesMedicare and health insurance scams and even COVID-19 related fraud.

Make sure you do your research, don’t share any personal information with people you don’t know, and be careful when someone shares a “get rich quick” scheme.

5. Write a living will

Unlike estate planningA living will or medical directive details how you want to be cared for and treated if you are unable to express these wishes on your own.

A living will is legally binding and can include instructions on matters such as resuscitation, invasive life-sustaining measures, pain relief, antibiotics, and more.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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