The simplest, most effective way to prevent financial elder abuse begins with a well-drafted estate plan. The plan should include specific powers exercisable by the fiduciary, as the attorney-in-fact, or as successor trustee. A well-drafted estate plan that specifically prohibits or provides express powers gives instructions to the fiduciary, financial institutions, and third parties about the principal’s expectations, even when the principal loses the ability to express those preferences. These clear directions mean that more people know what should happen thereby decreasing the potential for abuse.
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