I attended a summit recently on the topic of financial exploitation of the elderly. This includes crimes not only committed by mail like sweepstakes but by email, handyman, salespeople and family members. Some of you are probably surprised to see family members in this category. You might also be surprised to know that financial exploitation by family members tops the list. Unfortunately it’s also the most under reported crime. After all, what parent wants to admit that their child is a crook? Not many. So, how does this happen? A trusting parent makes his child a financial power of attorney. Money begins disappearing from checking accounts, investment accounts, property changes names etc. and before the parent knows it their home is in foreclosure and the electricity is about to be turned off. Yes, this is an extreme case but it does happen dollar by dollar by dollar. So if you’re a parent, think very carefully about whom you make your financial power of attorney. The quality of your life at the end of your life depends on it.