As your mother and father have aged, you’ve focused on taking steps to determine what kind of mental capacity they have and at what point you may need to limit their control over their own lives. You want to protect them, making sure that their wishes are carried out as they get older and that their wishes are known once they pass away.
You want to be sure you know if someone is influencing them negatively, but are there signs to watch out for? The simple answer is yes, and you can be on the lookout for these red flags.
3 signs of undue influence
There are several signs of undue influence to watch out for. Here are three that you should know about.
- Suggesting someone new can do certain tasks instead of past caregivers
If your parents have always relied on you to help them with daily tasks or they had set caregivers in the past, it would be unusual for them to suddenly break away from everyone. If they start saying that someone new they’ve met can help with simple tasks or start brushing off your concerns about helping them with things you’ve always been there for, you may want to meet with this new party and, if necessary, take action to prevent them from interfering negatively in your parents’ lives.
If a new person comes into the picture and starts to influence your parents, you may notice your parents pulling away. Maybe they will seem to isolate themselves, for example, telling you not to come over or failing to return your calls.
- Sudden changes to the estate plan
Finally, if there are sudden changes to an estate plan, then that could be a big sign that something unusual is going on. If your parents previously spoke to you about the plan but then make changes after meeting someone new, you may want to reach out to the attorney and start asking questions.
It’s unfair for people to try to take advantage of the elderly, but they do. If your loved ones are aging and you’re concerned about the potential for them to be taken advantage of, you need to look into the legal options available to keep them safe, such as petitioning for guardianship.