The issue of elder abuse is increasing in awareness.  Yet I continue to see family dynamics that leave me concerned that manipulation is taking place.  Money can be used as bargaining power in relationships.  This may sound negative but it isn’t necessarily so.  Bargaining happens all the time – you help me with something and I feel drawn to return the favour.  As people age they find that they have less traditional bargaining power due to health changes, geographic distances and out-dated skill sets.  But their money may continue to give them some bargaining ability.  For example, treating the family to a dinner at a restaurant.  In the case of larger gifts during the older person’s lifetime there are risks if titles on houses change (or other assets), money is depleted placing the person at risk of running out of money, or individuals are relocated against their wishes.  Any conversation about substantial movement of assets for your older clients needs to be accompanied by the question:  Do you have any concern that if you do not give your kids/grandkids some money now that they won’t be there for you later on?