The second man to walk on the moon, 88-year-old 88 Buzz Aldrin is fighting his two youngest children who he claims are colluding with his former manager Christina Korp to seize control of his estate by alleging that he has dementia. He sued the trio in a Florida court in June. Korp and the Aldrin children deny wrongdoing and blame Aldrin’s “increased confusion and memory loss.”
Wherever the truth lies, what is happening to Aldrin is becoming more and more common and not just to the rich and famous. The exploitation of the elderly is growing and is vastly underreported.
Julie Schoen of the National Center on Elder Abuse told AARP, “It’s such a hidden crime. Within families, victims don’t want to prosecute. There’s a huge gap in our system when it comes to recording these crimes. We need better research. Ninety percent of perpetrators are family members or other people the victim knows well, such as caretakers, neighbors or friends.
Schoen suggests some ways to help protect you and your aged loved ones.
- When a person is still mentally sharp, help him or her make a plan that designates power of attorney and health care directives. “We tend to want to keep financial matters private, but if we don’t have those discussions, that’s what blows things apart.”
- Stay connected with older loved ones through regular phone calls, visits or emails.
- Develop a relationship with your parent’s caregiver. “They’ll be less likely to financially exploit Mother because they know you’re paying attention.”
- Become a “trusted contact” to monitor bank account and brokerage activity.
- Sign up for a service such as EverSafe to track financial activity and notify an advocate of unusual withdrawals or spending.
- Set up direct deposit for checks so others don’t have to cash them.
- Do not sign any documents that you don’t understand.
If you need legal help protecting an aging loved one, please call us here at the Law Offices Of Jeffrey Weinstein. 347-305-8752.