My first Ohio estate case

After dad died in 2015, it took months for me to find a lawyer to listen when I suspected fraud of my dad’s ford Ford motor life insurance policy through UniCARE. Dad was widowed and never remarried. When mom died in 06, he didn’t update his life insurance beneficiary and died intestate (no will). I had to eventually get the Ohio department of insurance involved but they were of no more help than the Michigan department of insurance. Handling something like this was definitely overwhelming but I’m glad I finally found a lawyer who would listen and works on contingency. I’m glad I was reminded to call the Bar Association, which would’ve saved me all the aggravation of searching outside the bar association and trying to find a lawyer on my own. I typed up my message and sent it to a bunch of different lawyers, none of which who could or would help. Many of them were greedy and required and upfront retainer fee I knew I could never come up with in a timely manner. It seems like the justice system is just for the rich, but thank God for the lawyers who work on contingency! I know it’s much harder to get a lawyer now unless you have a winnable case and thank God I did! I had many questions and I was able to finally start getting to the bottom of things that were on my mind. What’s bad news is UniCARE, they have a very low customer satisfaction rating according to what I found, and now I have a better understanding of why. If you follow the link below, you can see for yourself.

https://insurance.freeadvice.com/reviews/316/

UniCARE wasn’t looking out for the interest of dad or his survivors and they let the POA change dad’s beneficiary to herself and they went ahead and paid out to her. Now the POA is enjoying stolen money that wasn’t hers to take, and dad’s beneficiary was changed only three weeks before he died. What makes matters worse is he died with Alzheimer’s that he had for a number of years. My discoveries inspired me to start doing some serious research about elder abuse including financial and exploitation.

* UniCARE ended up giving my dad’s money that by law was required to go to me since dad died intestate and never updated his life insurance beneficiary.
*
* The POA illegally used her powers to make herself the life insurance beneficiary. She knew dad had one surviving daughter and where that daughter was. Now she’s in trouble for taking money she wasn’t entitled to and UniCARE is in some trouble for paying out to the wrong person. I tried to warn them, but they wouldn’t listen and now they’re in hot water. They say ‘sorry’, but I don’t think they’re really ‘sorry’, just ‘sorry’ they got caught.

The fraudster who became my dad’s POA also got in trouble with the IRS over unpaid taxes. The IRS for closed on her house and a sheriff sale recovered $13,908. I eventually found out dad was well enough to transfer his house to this fraudster but actually I could’ve used that house for myself. I’m just glad this deadbeat is no longer living in my dad’s house even if she did sell it for $42,000, far below fair market value. An LLC has since bought the house and put it up for sale for fair market value. I lived in that house for 13 years and would really like to go see the inside and around the whole property before it sells since it is on the market. I see it as a big red flag that the private owner never provided additional pictures of the inside and the rest of the property. This is no way to treat anyone’s childhood home and I hope no one buys it. I’d rather see it given back to the family than to see it go to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

My recent findings revealed the uniCARE life insurance company won’t respond to my lawyer handling my estate case for my dad. Multiple letters were sent to no avail. We are now on the verge of taking further legal action. If you work for Ford, you may have UniCARE as your insurance. What you may not know now is there’s a very high risk of unsatisfactory when you need them, especially if you stumble across a situation like mine where a fraudster took advantage of one of your relatives and the insurance company pays the fraudster instead of you, the rightful blood relative. What’s in my favor is I happen to be the last one left in my family, I happened to be disabled, experiencing extreme hardship and can’t get transportation because I have no other family and on fixed income. What’s also in my favor is finding out the POA was not allowed to use her POA powers to give herself anything from my dad. This is why her and the life insurance company are in hot water. UniCARE because they allowed the POA to use POA powers to make herself the life insurance beneficiary and the POA for taking money she’s not entitled to. This could lead to at least one or two lawsuits. If anything sounds familiar, definitely do your homework and learn all you can about elder financial abuse

Poverty: A growing crisis and what we can do to help

In a world of plenty, it’s sad we still see the poor pushed aside and forgotten while their needs go unmet and we take life for granted. While enjoying our wealth we forget the poor who have less than us. Did it ever occur to us that things can change in an instant? God has chosen the poor but it seems like not enough people care about them, because if they did there would be change, serious change. People with plenty have the means to end poverty. In fact, our elected officials are there for us. They work for us, not the other way around. We need to talk to our local, state and even our national officials who actually have the power to go after the money stash since they know who all has it and who has the means to contribute back into the treasury.
Meanwhile, what the poor can do is stop making others rich by just cutting back on spending. Corporate greed drives us to spend more and more and more until we’re broke. In the end the poor lose and the rich only get richer. Every dime you spend makes someone else one dime richer because someone else gets to live off that money. While they’re vacationing with their families and friends, you’re stuck at home. Ever wonder why you can’t afford vacations anyway? It’s because you can’t afford it. Not only does overspending contribute to this, but overcharging and gouging the public who can afford it, leaving little or no opportunity for the less fortunate to ever get to enjoy vacations. I think all of this may have something to do with the high prices so companies can compensate for lost business. Perhaps maybe more people should be boycotting and just not giving their business where gouging is happening. I even remember nightmares customers were having with some airlines including United breaking guitars. With price gouging, luggage loss or damage I don’t blame people for just not doing business with those particular companies. Perhaps taking the train or even a bus it’s not just cheaper but a safer alternative to flying. We can drive price gougers out of business by everyone making the same commitment and just not doing business with those kinds of people. Pull the purse strings and watch how fast things change. Another area to target is to start hitting some people in the pocketbook. Some of our officials are looking out for our best interest. Maybe hitting them in the pocketbook will change their attitudes toward the people they work for because it was the people who voted them in. We voted them in and we must find out how to vote them out and get them out of office because we don’t have to put up with it officials who don’t keep their commitments and look out for the interests of their own communities. So many times they’re overpaid anyway and we need to start hitting them where it hurts the most, the pocketbook. Another area of focus is professional sports players that make millions upon millions. What they do with all that money is a mystery. What they do with their mansions should be to open those homes and take in the homeless and less fortunate for a tax credit. There should be rewards for those well in a financial position to end poverty and actually do. Giving to charity is definitely not the answer because too many times we hear of charities misappropriating goods and funds that are really intended to be given to people who really need help. That’s why I personally would never give to charity when it’s better to actually spend the money on the goods people need and distribute them to the needy. When the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, there’s a serious problem with the people and things need to start changing and fast. When we price gouge and take advantage of the poor, it should be considered just as bad as taking advantage of our elders. Not that some of our elders don’t have the means to share, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it without abusing anyone. I’m all for equal wealth if that’s what it takes to stamp out poverty. If that’s what it takes then that’s what it takes but things really need to start changing especially when you see people sleeping in the streets, some of them through no fault of their own. Those are the people who need the help that can’t get it. You hear of vets getting homes built for them, which is good, but how about doing the same thing for non-vets who really do need homes? There just aren’t enough people doing enough for the poor. Our vets have an elaborate smart home built for them, and just tiny homes built for the poor? Something’s very wrong with this picture. Not that our vets don’t deserve help, but there are so many non-vets out there who are just as human and I need the same kind of help. I know that even a tiny home is better than nothing, but has anyone ever considered doing better? I applaud the one story I saw on social media about one particular woman who lived in her home for a certain number of years, maybe decades. When this woman was somehow evicted from her lifelong home probably due to a foreclosure caused by financial shortage in her old age, one neighbor was somehow able to buy the home back and give it back to the rightful owner. I’m proud of people like this because we need far more people like that. We even need people to even consider this kind of act where people need transportation but can’t otherwise get it. Sometimes we may see someone always out and about and it may be hard to spot their need for a car unless it’s too obvious that someone traveling constantly by wheelchair. This should stand out like a sore thumb but sadly no one cares enough to do something about it, and they are out there. You don’t know that maybe that person might not have a drivers license in hopes of someday getting a car but just can’t get a car loan due to being required to have a minimum income double what they get on Social Security. With cars being well overpriced, makes it impossible to ever obtain a car when cars are unreachable to those who most need them. Here is a list of people who need cars more than most people do:

Single (especially childless women)

Disabled: (specifically those whose disability and poverty situation forces them to have no other choice but to consistently travel by wheelchair or mobility scooter)

Poor

No help getting around. No family. Friends with vehicles are often off doing their own thing and just too busy.

* In some cases you might have a situation where someone in the household is possessive or controlling me of someone who would otherwise be willing to help

The solution is not necessarily taking public transit and even the cheaper priced ones add up very quickly when you’re on fixed income. Every dollar you give a cab driver is making them richer and taking away from ever obtaining your own car. Having your own car is actually much better for certain people who actually need cars the most. I’m glad there are a few places that actually give out cars to the needy, but if you don’t have a very big social network and you’re not that well-known or have that many friends, being chosen by the community to receive a brand new car from a dealership is unlikely.

Some people judge and even yell at disabled people who must consistently travel by wheelchair but as a wheelchair user myself I’m speaking out and telling you how it really is for some of us! I’m just glad I happen to have a valid drivers license and no someone else in my situation who doesn’t drive and a car for me would make the biggest difference for the both of us because on the one who could provide the transportation if I just had the car. People may rev their motors when they buzz by but one day will be judgment day and those people will answer to God and tell him why they didn’t help those who are most needed it. God often puts people in certain places for certain reasons with this being one of them. I’m just glad there’s a strong likelihood of help finally coming by means of some inheritance money but it couldn’t come soon enough because I’ve been crying out to God for so long for my situation to change. I may not pray often enough or even know how to pray other than to cry out to God about what’s wrong because he sees the big picture. Rev on by me if you will, but your car will soon break down and i’ll be laughing. I must now ask myself what some of the real stories are behind some of the breakdowns including the one I just recently saw downtown one night when someone’s tire popped off the rim. Sometimes you must wonder if the real reason why some of those cars are breaking down. Besides what we know, I’m sure there’s a flipside to every story. There is what we know, then what we don’t know which is the unseen. Sometimes it takes something like a simple breakdown to put you where God wants you since you would otherwise not even be there. If God is trying to put you somewhere and you just won’t go, God will sometimes create a situation to put you there anyway whether you like it or not. Maybe God may have been laying it on your heart to help someone that needs your help and you’re the one he wants to use because you have the means to change someone’s life. Perhaps your disobedience may have caused something far more serious in the other persons life because your choices can affect others. You may not realize this, but if God is trying to get you to do something to benefit someone who needs help and you choose to disobey him, that disobedience speaks for itself and I’ll explain why. You may not realize this but your words and actions reflect what’s really in your heart. Getting back to if God is trying to get you to help someone and you choose not to, that’s coming from your heart whether you know it or not. That said is why I’m now questioning the natural disasters of 2017. It seems odd the hurricanes happened to be just a little different than usual. Also focusing on the multiple earthquakes right around the same areas makes me wonder if God maybe actually trying to get peoples attention. Perhaps more people than we know about lived in the affected areas who may have been living in sin, disobedience and greed. We all know that so many times rich people have homes near the beachfront. It’s also been said that homeless people know where to go to hopefully get help from those with the means to help out. I remember a specific story of a homeless lady living in a beachfront gazebo near where rich people also live along the beachfront and other nearby areas. Perhaps this homeless lady who wouldn’t evacuate before the arrival of hurricane Harvey must’ve reached her human wits end of having to endure long enough of not having any help from those who are well-off. I’m sad to know that something drove her to stubbornly say that she’s where she wants to be because I think there’s a strong possibility she was just at her human wits end and just couldn’t take no more and just wanted a way out. You can only wonder if this was the case and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this was. This is why I’m saying your choices very often affect other people. Some people just can’t be trusted with wealth for this very reason, and this is just one among multiple reasons. When your choices cost lives, God will sometime intervene and turn the tables against you in some way or another, and you won’t be happy. Remember the story about the rich man and Lazarus, who ended up in heaven and who’s burning in hell forever. Lazarus is in heaven and is being comforted but the rich man who was too greedy to help him is burning in hell with no way out, ever. When greed drives people to let the poor die rather than to help them, those kinds of people have no place in heaven, and in some cases, God will wipe them out. I saw one particular case of this for myself. These types of people are usually narcissistic and greed has been known to be the main trait of narcs. The one I knew was a heavy chain smoker who took financial advantage of others for his own gain until one day God led me to speak up. Within days of my obedience the narcs girlfriend kicked evicted him from her apartment, after which we had a meeting with her and her family who moved in with her and the real truth of what was really going on came out into the open. I was very shocked at everything I learned. I also learned narcs normally have other supply on the side ready to go to them at a moments notice. This is just what happened with the narc, I never knew she was his new supply. What I later learned is that new supply was into either cocaine or heroin. It’s odd like they died only days apart because I suspect the narc who was already a chain smoker may have gotten a hold of some of those drugs and OD’d. If anything sounds familiar and you’re in a situation matching anything described in this article, then this article is definitely for you and you have the power to ask God to help you with change. Too many people are scared of change because not all change is good. If you’re a victim of an unfortunate situation, God sees you and he hears you. He wants the best for you and he wants to help you (but you must let him). Whatever you can’t change, that’s OK. Let God do the changing and make those changes for you because in some cases he’s the only one who can change the unchangeable even if he must remove you from the situation. Sometimes he may not change your situation since he may be trying to change your heart depending on you and the situation at hand. In some cases where you don’t belong in that situation, i’ve noticed how one of two things always tend to happen: either God changes the situation or he removes the person from it. Sometimes you may be where you just don’t belong through no fault of your own, but God wants to change that. Where God wants to take you is actually far better than where you’ve been. If you’ve been surrounded by a certain set of circumstances that no matter what you do you just can’t get nowhere, don’t despair. In my particular set of circumstances I could never get nowhere so I just stayed where I am since there was nothing else I could do but just sit where I am. It’s kind of like being stuck in a maze where you can’t just climb out, sometimes you’re stuck in a room with no doorway or not so much of a window but the top is open. You may be stuck in there, wondering how to get out when there’s no way out but up and God is the only one who can lift you up and out in these types of situations. This is the best way I know how to describe it because actually it’s true. Your set of circumstances maybe like unto a certain room within a maze. Something people get so discouraged they have no other choice but to give up and get comfortable there while having lost all hope of ever getting out. These kinds of situations devastate certain people, but God has not forgotten you. The beautiful thing about being where I am is how I’ve noticed God has always provided for me. He’s always seem to it I have enough to eat, water to drink, a roof over my head and a comfy bed to sleep in. I’m thankful for all of that but God sees that’s not all I need. He sees my need for transportation and I’m not alone since lack of is a much wider bigger problem than I knew about before a friend revealed to me just how big the problem really is. I think it’s more than just a problem within the community, I think it’s more of a state wide problem and maybe even a national problem and maybe still yet a global problem. We all need to start persistently contacting all of our officials and we need to start putting their feet to the fire and not shutting up or going away. We the people voted them in and we the people can remove them if necessary and even remove their retirement and other benefits. We don’t have to keep them in office if they won’t look out for the best interest of even the poorest among us.

Now meanwhile, if any of this article speaks to something you’re going through, here’s what you can do about it. The solution is just as simple as doing your part to help hit the rich in the pocketbook. All you have to do is just pull your own purse strings tight and keep them tight. That means spend less and live far below your means. Enough people doing this will do more than just hit the rich in the pocketbook but it’ll also send a strong message. Companies will start finding out why people aren’t spending so much, and some of those people may actually need big ticket items like medical equipment, life-saving medicine or even a reliable car. We are to start screaming at dealerships for unsold inventory that ends up being sent back and maybe even destroyed somewhere. We need to start screaming and not stop until every unsold piece of inventory whether it be a car or some other merchandise is put into the hands of some needy person who may need those items. Unsold inventory doesn’t have to be sent back and destroyed if it’s something someone can actually use and it can be given away for the reward of a tax credit. Something can be done in the system to allow for this because society has become wasteful by not making unsold inventory useful. Every unsold item is useful to someone somewhere. Unsold inventories need not be destroyed when they can be distributed to the needy. Giving them to charity is an option but you can’t guarantee those charities are trustworthy and will give them to the needy. Just distribute them yourself, especially if you find out someone else needs something you happen to have, even if it happens to be an unsold car. Only you can do your own part to help stamp out poverty and make this world a better place to live. Remember the song “heal the world”. Let that song be an example to make it Christmas all year around for those in need.

Why we should be helping others

This article was inspired from my own experience of hardship only to find out I’m not alone. I’ve been noticing people who are well in a position to be able to help others never do. Call it what it really is, greed. Too many times people are all for themselves or their only limited to helping those within their families, but what about someone without a family who really needs your help? It’s awfully sad that people are not as much of a community as they should be and I’m ashamed of how those kinds of people are towards the poorest among us. You may pass someone each and every day and someone may be right under your nose and you see that someone as a problem in the community. Whether it be a homeless person or someone who must travel on a wheelchair or mobility scooter. That’s someone’s son, daughter, granddaughter, mother, father, etc. The very person you’re judging and that you keep passing by is the very same person under your nose who may actually need help. The very way you treat these kinds of people reflects how you really think and what’s in your heart. The way you treat the poorest among you reflects how you would treat your own family. Instead of yelling at people who are already doing the best they can with what little they have, have you ever tried helping? The answer is all too often no. Even God said in the Bible that to whom much is given, much is required, so remember the rich man and Lazarus. Those who are in a position to help someone right under their nose often doesn’t and the rich man and Lazarus story was just one perfect example of just that. The rich man may hoard everything to themselves only to lose it all later. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, and he can surely cause greedy people to lose everything. I now have serious questions of all the people who faced the 2017 hurricanes including the multi billionaire on the private island. Yes, I wonder of all the people hit by those hurricanes, how many of them were greedily living the big life not thinking of no one but themselves? I can only wonder because I now have some serious questions according to my own observations. Yes, I am watching and I do notice stuff. I was even disappointed when a homeless person living in a tent in our town couldn’t even get shelter. I don’t know just how many homeless people have been through our town who couldn’t get shelter, but something like this is more common in the bigger cities from what I’ve noticed. If you ever wonder why crime rate is so high and panhandling is so common. It’s because there are some who are homeless through no fault of their own. I pity those with no family and no where to go but the streets when they become homeless. Some people have somewhere to go but there are those among us who don’t have nowhere to go but under a bridge or a cardboard box. I even saw one particular episode on Boston EMS where they were dispatched to an unresponsive homeless person who died on the street in the night. I’m really disappointed in society as a whole and I’m sure God is also pretty angry and I don’t blame him. When there are people out there well in a position to help the less fortunate and don’t, I couldn’t blame him for sending natural disasters to get peoples attention.

I’m also disappointed that of all the car programs out there to help low income people get cars, they are not accessible to everyone. In some cases that was brought to my attention, you can do everything they say and still not get a car which is disgusting and I don’t blame God for the natural disasters in an effort to try to wake people up. I now question the Great Depression and the real story behind economic collapse. People often spend all their money in so many places and all too often don’t even think about less fortunate people who are often pushed aside, forgotten, and neglected. There are just some situations where people need a hand up and in some cases a little help gaining needed resources when what little you get is just not enough to get what you need and in so many cases, transportation is a huge problem when you can’t get a car. I’m very angry at how I discovered cars are more expensive than ever and getting a car loan for some is impossible due to how all the banking system is set up to make car payments unreasonable. Now you see why the repo man is in business? That’s exactly why. People who most need cars are the ones without families who happened to be single, disabled, on fixed income, and live alone. Those people actually need cars far worse than most people out there who have someone who can give them a lift. It’s actually the single women in this particular group will need transportation far worse than the rest of you. I’m very angry that so many communities don’t have a thing known as a charity car program for this particular group who most need it. There are just some situations where people just need help and those people are often right under your nose and these people sometimes get yelled that when they’re already doing the best they can with what little they have an all they need is some help. The help they need may actually be transportation, so why doesn’t the community come together and set up a go fund me accounts or some other way to get funds to actually help these kinds of people get cars? I just don’t get it because all too often people are often just for themselves. One day we will all stand before God and give an account and this type of thing will come up on judgment day, you can bet on it. Too many people may say they didn’t know but God will most likely describe someone that was right under their nose and the people who were in a position to help refused to see the obvious and due to greed. Greed comes from a cold hard heart. If you consistently won’t help someone who obviously needs help and I need is obvious, one day the tables will turn and that person’s shoes might actually fit your feet when God lift them out of poverty and they won’t help you. Try that on for size because it can happen

Remembering Christmas

Remember how most people feel around Christmas? Remember how you wish Christmas could last all year round? Well, it actually can and it’s not just the Christmas decorations and only giving to people in your family or on your friends list. Why not make it Christmas for someone outside of your contacts because it doesn’t necessarily have to be Christmas in order to help someone in need. You can let your Christmas spirit of giving come out anytime of the year. Did you know that you can actually lose out by not helping the needy? Yes, you’ll miss out on great rewards later if you don’t help someone now because it’ll affect you in the afterlife when you lose rewards you would’ve otherwise gained by helping someone God puts in your path. We may think we meet people by accident but it’s really not by accident at all. God crosses paths for a reason and he puts people in your path for a reason and among those reasons may be that God may want to use you to help someone needy that’s right under your nose. You may be giving to charity that may mismanage donations when really the real need is right under your nose. You can’t always trust charity to give donations to intended people, look at how the Red Cross took hot meals away from flood victims and even throughout donations that should’ve been given to flood victims in 2017. This is why I’m glad I don’t give to charity, I’d really rather help people myself so I know where my donations are going, especially if I bought new stuff to give to someone specific who actually needs it. Why gamble with your money and donations when there’s no guarantee the needy will actually get it? Your best bet is to go out and find people who need your help and help them yourself. You don’t even have to give them money, just go buy them what they need. If someone needs a car which in some cases is obvious, why not pull your community and even your church together to raise funds for a reasonable car if you find out someone can drive but just can’t buy the car? Dealerships have even been known to occasionally giveaway and unfold car so why can’t this happen more often? They should be able to access the database to actually find women in particular who are disabled, single and on federal benefits. The database that goes through the human services should be accessible by charity car programs that can network everywhere. What they should do is find out who doesn’t have a car who happens to be single, disabled without family and on fixed income, those are the people who most need charity cars. Of all those people fitting this description, there may also be someone with a broken down vehicle who might even need a new car. All lives matter, so why not fix up some kind of system to find these kinds of people who badly need transportation and when you give away and unsold vehicle, give it to someone who really needs it who has no family, is disabled and on fixed income who could otherwise not afford a car loan. These are the kinds of people who need those cars more than most people

Last and most important thing to remember

Being in certain situations without transportation is kind of like living in jail. Those who’ve ever been incarcerated would clearly understand what it’s like to not be able to go nowhere or do nothing. No one wants to have to live like they’re in jail but sadly this is sort of how some people are forced to have to live just because they don’t have adequate transportation or help getting it. We take freedom for granted and rarely if ever think of those less fortunate who lack the means to be able to get a reliable vehicle, especially when you discover banks don’t do many loans for cheap cars that may actually be reliable. What about the freedom of the less fortunate? The way some of them must live is kind of like living in jail, and if you had to live like that I don’t think you would get far because most of you wouldn’t last. Next time you want to yell at someone having to travel on the street by wheelchair, maybe you should just give up the keys and give that person your car for about a week or two and see how long you last having to live like them for a while. Yes, just trade places and you’ll see what they have to go through, especially having very little money. There’s even a TV show where people trade places for a time, and I’d gladly trade places with someone more fortunate than me for about a week just to let them see how I must live

Elder abuse: what you should know

How Your Elderly Parents Will Become Wards Of The State

Blowing the lid off abusive guardianship

How Your Elderly Parents Will Become Wards Of The State

Part one

How Your Elderly Parents Will Become Wards Of The State

Part two

Corrupt system: guardianship. How Your Elderly Parents Will Become Wards Of The State

Part three

Ohio probate process

The link to the page below gives ohioans a look into the probate process. This is especially helpful if you’re a new admin dealing with your first estate case. The process can take 6 to 9 months or up to a year or more depending on the complexity of your case. One thing to remember is you can be both heir and executor. If you’re facing and estate case and you suspect elder fraud/exploitation, your first call should definitely be to the Ohio State bar association, especially if you’re on low or fixed income like Social Security

http://www.elderlaw.us/probate-estate-administration-in-ohio-frequently-asked-questions/

I had to start research after having to deal with an estate for my bio dad with Alzheimer’s. A fraudster ended up taking advantage of him. My dad worked for Ford his whole life and was the only provider. He was the reason why we had lots of money. He owned the house out in the country, two cars that were paid for and we had steak nearly every night. What’s disappointing is to find out some fraudster took advantage of him in his last years but thankfully I can recover from this because of how things happened. It’s never a good idea to rob our elders because you don’t know who you may be hurting in the process or what the elders heirs needs are, they may actually need that money and those assets far worse than most people, especially if those surviving heirs happen to be family. You never know what someone else’s family situation is because too many times someone who doesn’t provide for their family robs very people who really matter and it’s often the surviving children you may be taking money away from. It’s never wise to rob the elders because doing so may whole soul be robbing someone who really needs that money and those assets far worse than most people do. Not everyone has family or other outside help. You may think it’s OK to steal from our elders and rob their surviving children or grandchildren and you may think it’s OK to go ahead and enjoy what you stole. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who really needs that money because someday someone else’s shoes will fit your feet. You may think it’s OK to rob someone else now but someone else’s shoes will fit your feet. Robbing our elders is never OK because someday it’ll come back to haunt you and it’ll definitely come back to bite you. To those who make it a lifestyle to steal from our elders and rob their surviving families, that money and those assets are not yours to keep so give it back, you’re not entitled to it!

If you know there’s a likelihood of a sizable inheritance, you may face haters along the way simply because it’s you inheriting something and not them. Don’t let this discourage you, you’re entitled to it. Others may be jealous and some people may try to take advantage of you. New friends and so-called ‘relatives’ may come out of the cracks, but don’t fall for it. It’s just their way of trying to buddy up to you in hopes of getting something from you. Just don’t fall for it. Remember who your true friends are when you’re down and broke. Remember who your true friends were when you most needed them, and remember who was actually there even when you were down and broke. When you get your inheritance it’s a one time gift, don’t waste it.

Banking: How to protect your money

Banking: How to protect your money

Digital banking strategies

How I’m protecting myself against fraud and exploitation

Direct deposit
Years ago I discovered how beneficial online banking really is. In Ohio, Social Security started phasing out paper checks and encouraging recipients to get direct deposit. That’s because they’ve had to replace multiple paper checks that were sent out through the mail, only for them to be lost or stolen whilxe recipients waited for those checks to arrive. I’m glad I never had this happen and I got direct deposit years before it was required. Together with auto bill pay and a few other strategies, you should never ever need a financial POA as long as certain strategies are strictly practiced.

Auto bill pay
Auto bill pay is a convenient tool that can actually come in handy should you become incapacitated. Online auto bill pay should only be set up from your end. Letting companies come in and get their money leaves you sitting duck to be ripped off, there’s been many sad stories of this happening even close to home. I never do business with anyone who requires access to my bank account. In Ohio, I can turn to the Attorney General and report even potential fraudsters because by law, businesses are required to provide written information, including a copy of the bill which is also written information. If I go to sign up for a new service and they require access to my bank account, I just asked for a copy of the bill. If they refuse, they broke the law and I can report it. Don’t think that if you face the same thing that there’s nothing you can do, there’s much you can do. If a company you’re considering doing business with won’t provide a copy of the bill, that’s a huge red flag and it’s not a good idea to do business with them. Bills can be sent either through the mail or even email.

Auto transfers
Setting up auto transfers after bills allows you to transfer money worry free. Auto bill pay and auto transfers can be done while you sleep. While everyone else is running around on payday, you can be doing other things. Yes, you can do better things with your time while letting automated banking work for you. You set up the transfers from your end and select specific accounts and amounts. You set up the frequency of the transfers, and you can adjust the amounts anytime.

Building savings
Building up a savings requires changing how you handle your own money. Parking the car more often, having no car, and living below your means is especially helpful in building your savings.

* Part of saving money requires eliminating money wasting habits to free up more money. Sit down and make a list of all of your monthly expenses. Now, list the cost of each thing on your list. Close every single loophole, leaving no wiggle room for overspending, which means lending money to anyone. It’s different if you see someone in need, but don’t give them money, buy them what they need and give it to them. That way, you know where your money went because you help needy people directly instead of giving money, especially to charity.

Why I never give money to charity
I don’t give money to charity because first, I can’t afford it. Second, too many of them end up pocketing the money or misappropriating it. During a certain 2017 hurricane crisis, the Red Cross for instance was videotaped taking food away from hurricane victims and there was video proof of them even throwing donations in the trash because they claim they could get more. If you ever wonder why some charities always need money, this is only one example of why. That’s because money is often wasted by throwing out peoples hard earned money when they bought those donations and donated them to a specific charity for a specific purpose. Misappropriated funds and goods doesn’t help no one, and I personally would much rather help someone in person by buying what they need and giving it to them directly. This is actually how it should be. In our town, we have a specific charity near downtown that refuses to help much of anyone since they got a new building and come to find out they no longer carry adult clothes. Also come to find out, children’s clothes and even the food are much harder to get. Add another charity, and inside source revealed how workers working the food bank would pick through all the food and keep the best stuff for themselves. That’s not right when you have people out there who really do need that food for worse than those workers who can easily buy their own. It doesn’t pay to donate to charity if they’re only going to turn around and misappropriate funds and goods that only legitimately needy people are entitled to. This is another form of fraud I want no part of. All of this is exactly why I’d rather use some of my own money and help someone who needs something by buying them what they need and giving it to them. Furthermore, you never know when you may actually make someone’s day because giving to them directly is a more personal approach if done from the heart. Anytime you can put a smile on the face of someone who most needs help is a task well done and a day worth spent.

No car? Contact your state and local officials and complain, there’s power in numbers!

Inability to obtain a car is a problem for many. Having no car can be especially detrimental if you have medical reasons why you need one. If you have none and happen to live alone and have no outside help especially with getting a car, you of all people need transportation more than most people who have someone who can give them a lift. This is where automated banking can help you if it’s set up right. I’m sorry that the cash for clunkers program caused more harm than good because now certain groups of people who most need vehicles can’t get a car because newer cars are too expensive and if you don’t make enough you can’t even get a car loan. That’s not right and things really need to change. People really need to start speaking up and contacting their state and local officials and really complaining. It takes years to save up enough money for a more expensive car if you’re alone with no family and on fixed income and can’t get any kind of affordable car loan to fit your budget.

Why I never carry cash
I no longer carry cash because there’s no way to actually trace where my money went. I prefer to have a record with my bank since the bank keeps accurate records of where our money goes. I won’t do business with no one who doesn’t have a card reader. If they don’t have a card reader, they don’t get my business or my money.

Another reason why I never carry cash is because it can be lost or stolen. If you ever lose your wallet and you have cash in it, there’s no way to recover it if it goes missing. Another thing to consider is just using your debit card and running it as credit is much quicker and easier. There’s no cash to drop and lose and records are kept with your bank for each transaction. Call it a type of digital checkbook.

Why I don’t write checks, money orders or the like
Should you become incapacitated and need someone to come in and help you, not having a checkbook makes it harder for someone to take advantage of me. In some YouTube videos I’ve seen scenarios where a caregiver will start going through the elders things and looking for checkbooks, debit cards and regular credit cards. This is often how fraudsters gain access to your account. Not having a checkbook makes it harder for anyone to steal your money. Even if you had nothing in the bank it’ll put you in the negative and the fraudster would leave you holding the bag. Writing checks and money orders is time consuming anyway, so I just went paperless and set up online auto bill pay (only from my end).

Digital transactions
I don’t carry cash, I only use my debit card. Running it as credit is far more secure than running it as debit, requiring you to type in your pin number (not secure). Having to type in your pin number, your info can easily be stolen and any hacker can easily gain access to your bank account if there’s ever a breach. This is why a banker once told me to only run my debit card as credit. That’s why I won’t do business with any store who won’t let me run my card as credit and requires my pin number. Such used to be the case with our local Aldie’s. It was a cash register surprise and I ended up leaving everything and going across the street but not before warning everyone coming in. Aldie’s must’ve lost enough business to pressure them into improving their system to allow people to run their debit cards as credit because now they do. I just don’t want my financial security info breached, even if it’s said pin numbers are never stored. I just won’t take that chance and will walk in a heartbeat.

Going paperless
Besides saving trees, paperless bank statements also make it harder for anyone to find out where you bank or how much money you have by going paperless.

Protecting savings
I just discovered how beneficial it is to move all of your money out of state or even offshore. This can make it harder for anyone to gain access to your money if someone is looking to target you specifically. You just don’t want to see your life savings go down the drain, which is also why it’s never a good idea to have a joint account.

* Having a joint account can leave you sitting duck for someone to clean you out, leaving you high and dry, especially when you need something. Regardless of if the joint account is with a spouse or some other individual, too many people are dishonest and crooked enough to be tempted with money. This is why it’s really not a good idea to have a joint account since someone can come back on you since they gave you half of the funds after bills. In some cases where someone becomes incapacitated and requires guardianship, they won’t be able to touch you if you’re judgment proof, and if you happen to not be in the wrong for anything.

* In other cases if you either made a mistake or did something wrong, you might be required to recover the money and the guardian could come after you if you have anything valuable that can be liquidated such as lots of money or other assets. This is another good reason why it’s not a good idea to have joint accounts or let anyone persuade you into commingling your money. Don’t let anyone pressure you into this no matter what. If you happen to get Social Security and use an out of state able account that happens to lack a debit card or electronic funds transfer, it’s much harder to get anything from you. Never share your device with anyone and never share your login info on any type of account be it banking or social media, just don’t share any login info or even your device. One thing to remember is if you’re ever defrauded and you catch it and report it early enough, the bank can recover your money. That’s what FDIC insurance is for.

Legal matters
Need a lawyer but on fixed income? Sometimes things come up that requires the help of a lawyer but all too often it seems like the legal system is just for the rich. That’s why if you need a lawyer it’s best to call your State Bar Association and tell them your situation and that you’re either on low or fixed income like Social Security and your matter really needs urgent help.

* Calling your state bar association will save you the hassle of calling different lawyers and being told they require an exorbitant upfront fee you’ll never be able to come up with in a timely manner. Such was the case when dealing with discovered fraud after my bio dad with Alzheimer’s died. I knew something wasn’t right and come to find out I was definitely right and so was everyone around me because the fraudster was found and now we know what happened to my dad and his Ford motor life insurance proceeds. I wish I would’ve been able to remember the Bar Association early on because I probably would’ve settled the estate much sooner. From a legal matter arises, your state bar association should be your first call, especially if you’re on low or fixed income like Social Security. Any good honest lawyer will work on contingency and only take a third or fourth of your winnings.

Conclusion
While digital banking is convenient and more secure than the old school ways of banking, you must protect your info and bank account as much as you would your wallet when people carried cash. Just think of your bank account as a digital wallet and don’t give no one access to it. Auto bill pay is convenient but should only be set up from your end, never give anyone access to your bank account for the collection of bills. Only set up auto bill pay from your end and don’t do business with anyone requiring access to your bank account, too many people have been ripped off by companies who had access to customers’ bank accounts.

* The more digital banking strategies you practice, the safer your financial future will be with proper money management. Not overspending is key to building that savings. Taking the right steps to protect your money now will make it hard for anyone to take advantage of you later but it’s up to you to be stubborn enough to firmly stand your ground and even call authorities if necessary.

A final tip is to never answer the door to unexpected company and definitely don’t take calls from unrecognized number is not in your contact list. Doing so opens you up to a whole host of problems that could lead to someone’s getting money from you. Keep your doors locked especially if you live alone and protect your windows against peeping toms

About the author

This author has dealt with the aftermath of elder financial abuse and exploitation and has experience with digital banking.