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Does the handsome golf instructor have designs on your Mom?

Your widowed mother, a young-at-heart senior, has recently taken up golf. In fact, she seems to be obsessed with it, and with Marcus, her handsome, fortyish instructor.

He asked her out for dinner, and your mom says they talked about everything imaginable, including topics such as finances and wills. This alarms you. His actions have the look of undue influence in the making, but what can you do about it?

Shifting alliances

If your aging parent has found a new friend with whom she wants to spend time, you have no complaints. However, no matter if the new friend is male or female, a red flag goes up in your mind if this person is able to elicit an unusual amount of trust from your mom. Even long-time friends normally stay out of personal, family matters. If your mother appears to have turned to Marcus for advice, and then mentions that she is considering making changes to her will, it is time for you to take action.

What you can do

First, invite yourself to the next lunch or dinner. Be courteous but ask pointed questions of Marcus and let him know you are keeping an eye on his relationship with your mother. Second, stay more connected. Call your mom regularly and get together with her more often. The closer you are with your mother the less chance Marcus has to interfere in family business. Finally, ask your mom to give you access to her checking and savings accounts. You can help her record funds properly while you keep track of the checks she writes and any odd withdrawals she makes.

Foiling plans

Relationships such as the one between your mother and Marcus are not unusual. Some are simply friendships, but others are calculated. Stay alert. If you fail to take steps to discover which kind of relationship your mom has embarked upon, Marcus could insert himself into her will as a beneficiary before you realize what has happened.

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