On January 28, 2020, Tim Hinz spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club about "Elder Financial Abuse". Pictured above is Tim Hinze.
Tim Hinz has been associated with First Financial Bank and its predecessor First Bank of Conroe for 18 years. He has over 10 years experience in financial fraud investigation, with the most recent 5 years focused primarily on elderly financial exploitation and abuse. Tim started his presentation with the following facts:
  • Estimates of elder financial abuse and fraud costs to older Americans range from 2.9 billion to 36.5 billion.
  • One in nine seniors has reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the last year.
  • More than 79% of elder abuse cases go unreported.
  • 90% of abusers are family members or trusted friends.
Tim also noted that elder abuse will only get worse as time goes on as 10,000 people turn 65 every day with retirement accounts totaling 14.5 trillion.
Tim then told a personal story about a family with 8 grown children. The father of the children set up everything so that at his passing one of his sons would be in financial control to make sure his wife was cared for. Things were fine until the mother went into assisted living. There was a dispute between the mother and the son about the amout of money she should be able to spend on a monthly basis. Two other sisters then stepped in and gave the son so much hatred and trouble that he threw up his hands and allowed the sisters to take over. The two sisters then began to fight between themselves as to how to best take care of their mother and one of the sisters took the other sister to court. The sister who took her sister to court lost her case but wound up with legal fees of almost $30,000. None of this should have happened and it resulted in lost funds from the mother's money.
Tim then told everyone they should take the following steps to prevent elder financial abuse:
  • Make sure you have all your legal documents in order.
  • Give careful thought before selecting which family member or friend should be given financial responsibility.
  • Look for someone who will put your interests before their own.
  • Consider having more than one person on the power of attorney.
Tim then answered several questions from the group.