Many financial scams specifically go after senior citizens. Scammers know that they have significant financial assets. They target them ruthlessly.
It’s gotten so common that some have called it “the crime of the 21st century.”
A financial scam at this point in your life can have a massive impact on your estate planning. You could lose assets that you need for retirement or that you planned to leave to your children. Maybe you had already considered things like:
- A special needs trust for a child who cannot work
- An educational trust to help your grandchildren go to college
- Directly leaving a lump sum to your heirs so that they can retire in the future
These are all ways that you wanted to help your family and provide for them. If you lose that money in a scam, you will not be able to do it.
One important thing to note is that many scammers think of the process as a relatively low-risk endeavor. That’s because many financial crimes do not get reported. People do not realize they got scammed or they don’t realize that it was illegal. In some cases, they don’t know who to talk to. For whatever reason, they don’t report it and so the problem is allowed to continue unchecked. Common issues include:
- Funeral scams
- Health insurance scams
- Prescription drug scams
- Investment scams
These are all things that you’re already thinking about as you do your estate planning, so scammers target them to take advantage of it. It is very important for you to know what legitimate steps you need to take and how to do your financial planning safely.