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“Vulnerable Adults, Most Often Seniors” Are Targets for Scammers, Says Guardian Rick Black

Posted on Friday, December 22, 2023
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by AMAC, John Grimaldi
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WASHINGTON DC, Dec 22 — The National Council on Aging warns seniors that scams targeting older adults are on the rise.  Rick Black founded CEAR, the Center for Estate Administration Reform, in 2018 “to bring attention to the issue of predatory attorneys targeting vulnerable adults, most often seniors.” In a recent interview with Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens, on her Better For America podcast, he warned that elder fraud is on the rise.

As Black put it, “The lack of oversight in our equity court system and the ability for attorneys to work together can create a narrative that completely dupes a judge and allows them to inappropriately get control of you and your estate. We coined a phrase years ago, isolate the victim, defame legitimate protectors, and loot the estate. Control of the body in these affairs is rather critical. And so older folks, after their spouse has passed, are often alone, maybe thousands of miles from their children. And so, they become even more vulnerable than they had been, because the isolation, the distance, is the friend of an exploiter. And an attorney who has all the insights on the dynamics of your family is given the keys to your kingdom. And that could be done through durable power of attorney frauds, trust frauds, generic probate frauds, and, of course, adult guardianship conservatorship frauds.”

Elder wealth is a con man’s dream, according to CEAR. “$1.5 trillion per year passes generationally in the U.S. today. That number is projected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2035. Today’s seniors control the greatest wealth in American history. Adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, trust assets and federal entitlements represent significant wealth as well.”

During his BFA interview, Black revealed that his family had experienced senior fraud firsthand. He said that his wife was an only child and as her father grew older, he was stricken with dementia. She was the executor of his will. He was living with a family friend in Las Vegas who, it turned out, was “exploiting him. We never believed that a family friend would choose to take advantage of a vulnerable senior and completely deceive the entire family. When we made the discovery, we went to his aid and found that the roommate, who at that point was about 75, had taken him hostage and had forged three checks totaling $220,000, and was exploiting him financially due to his growing dementia. We never believed that a family acquaintance would choose to take advantage of a vulnerable senior and completely deceive the entire family. We went to the police and asked them to intervene, and they refused to do it, which is typical nationwide, even with the compelling material evidence of three forged checks, and the fact that he was being held captive. Most of your listeners will say that just can’t happen in the U.S. The exploiter had a raft of attorneys defending her and making sure that my wife’s dad stayed isolated from the family. In summary, we did not get guardianship.”

Black’s story raises the question, what can one do in such a situation?  “Our strongest recommendation and you can do this for free by pulling forms off the internet, is to execute a durable power of attorney and a healthcare surrogate or healthcare advanced directive, naming an agent and a successor agent on those documents. And most importantly, after you have them notarized, you sit down with those agents and give them a copy of that document and make sure that they understand that you are contracting with them and that if you become vulnerable or cannot speak for yourself, that they’re to come to your aid and support you in that regard. It’s a temporary contract. It’s one that you can at any time dismiss, notify those parties, and create new parties that can protect you. But our strongest recommendation is to execute those documents and give them to your trusted and legitimate protector.”

John Grimaldi served on the first non-partisan communications department in the New York State Assembly and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Priva Technologies, Inc. He has served for more than thirty years as a Trustee of Daytop Village Foundation, which oversees a worldwide drug rehabilitation network.

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Patrick Switzer
Patrick Switzer
16 days ago

Biden should be charged with treason

K. Martin
K. Martin
4 months ago

What if there is no “trusted and legitimate protector”?

Diane Dimond
Diane Dimond
5 months ago

Rick Black and his wife Terri are true warriors in this field! For those who would like to learn more about the senior guardianship/conservatorship system and how it can have a devastating effect on seniors and their families please consider reading this book:
amazon.com/Were-Here-Help-Guardianship-Brandeis/dp/1684581672
Diane Dimond, investigative journalist/author.

Debbie
Debbie
5 months ago

Where on the internet do you find these documents?

Patrick
Patrick
16 days ago

Biden should be charged with treason

donna
donna
4 months ago

That is a sad state of affairs what happened to your wife’s father! A Durable Power of Attorney would have helped her kick the old b*tch to the curb!! $220,000 is not much money in these days of “bidenomics” or as Joe calls it….screw the people…I got what I wanted & more!!

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