“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” on June 15th Recognized by the Province of B.C.
Five Ways You Can Help Protect Aging Family and Friends from Abuse
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 2, 2015
Vancouver, BC – BC Notaries welcome the Province of B.C.’s proclamation declaring June 15 “Elder Abuse Awareness Day” to help raise awareness of disturbing and serious scams that can be devastating to seniors and their families.
“Criminals often target the most vulnerable in society and Notaries see this far too often, but there are things that seniors and their families can do to protect themselves,” said Akash Sablok, President of the Society of Notaries Public of B.C. and Vancouver Notary. “We often work with seniors and their loved ones to create legal documents that help to protect them from becoming victims of fraud.”
BC Notaries share five things people can do to protect loved ones or themselves against Elder Fraud.
1. Share information about common scams
It can be helpful for seniors to learn about common scams that typically target their peers. These are often shared online and through the news media. Sharing this information with aging parents and friends, and talking about how they would react can help seniors to protect themselves if approached by a scammer.
2. Change banking practices
Set up direct deposit of all incoming pension and other funds to minimize the opportunity for fraudsters to intervene. Tellers at your bank can help with this. Additionally, set up pre-authorized payment for regular bills, so they are paid automatically, without delay or worry. You might even want to consider getting prepaid credit cards set at specific limits.
3. Create a Power of Attorney
Having a senior appoint a trusted person, possibly an adult child, to manage finances and legal affairs can be helpful. This person should be accountable to the older adult and involve that person in the decision-making process. A BC Notary can help clarify and designate the Attorney’s roles and responsibilities.
4. Representation Agreement
In cases where the older adult may have diminished capacity and cannot make a Power of Attorney, they may still be capable of making a Representation Agreement. This type of agreement provides a designated individual with authority that can include minor and major health care; personal care and living arrangements; legal affairs; and routine management of financial affairs. A Notary Public can create this agreement.
5. Set up a joint bank account
A joint bank account for a senior and a trusted family member provides a second set of eyes monitoring for any suspicious transactions, such as large cash withdrawals that could occur as a result of a scam or fraud.
To find a Notary near you, visit www.notaries.bc.ca.
The Society of Notaries Public of BC represents more than 320 highly trained Notary professionals. Most have locally owned and operated offices and all provide personal assistance to clients around the province. Individuals, families and businesses seek the services of BC Notaries for a wide range of non-contentious legal matters, including residential and commercial real estate transfers, mortgage refinancing, Wills and advanced healthcare planning, powers of attorney, and other important documents.
The Notary’s Tradition of Trust spans 2000 years. Notaries first came to British Columbia over 100 years ago. They continue to serve their valued clients and their communities across the province. For more information, please visit www.notaries.bc.ca.
Editors: Local Notaries are available in many areas of BC to provide tips on how to protect seniors from financial elder abuse and fraud.