If you have elderly parents, it is advisable to encourage them to create a comprehensive estate plan. After all, comprehensive estate planning allows individuals to maintain control over the future of their assets, inevitable medical care and other end-of-life matters. Still, according to reporting from CNBC, only about half of seniors in the U.S. have an estate plan.
When your parents are drafting their estate plan, they must be certain it reflects their genuine intentions. Regrettably, an opportunist may manipulate your parents, causing them to make potentially harmful decisions. Here are three signs an undue influencer is trying to take advantage of your mother or father.
1. Too much involvement
Undue influencers often befriend those they victimize. While there is nothing inherently wrong with making new friends, too much involvement can be problematic. Watch out for someone who begins driving your parents to all appointments and activities, opening your parents’ mail and administering your parents’ medications.
2. Financial oversight
Other than professional money advisers and accountants, you probably do not want any outsider to have intimate knowledge of your parents’ finances. Still, an individual can gain this knowledge in several ways:
- Balancing your parent’s checkbook
- Paying your parent’s bills
- Taking your parents to the bank or ATM
3. Excessive control
The ultimate goal of undue influencers is to exercise full control over their victims. Therefore, you may need to intervene if someone does one or more of the following:
- Refuses to let your parents attend family events or social activities
- Accompanies your parents to all events they attend
- Requires your parents to check in before making decisions
To stop an undue influencer in his or her tracks, you should be ready to have some uncomfortable conversations. Ultimately, though, you likely have the option of contesting your parents’ estate plan after their deaths.