Elder Financial Abuse
San Francisco Probate Litigation Lawyers Identify Exploitation of the Elderly
Unfortunately, elderly people are vulnerable to many different types of abuse. This includes physical and emotional as well as financial. Some elderly individuals have accrued significant savings over the years, and others may see an opportunity to unlawfully take these accumulated funds. Our probate litigation attorneys know that elderly financial abuse can take many forms. We can help you put a stop to this exploitation. Charles Triay has specialized in these types of cases for more than 30 years.
What is Elder Financial Abuse?
Financial exploitation of the elderly occurs when someone illegally or inappropriately makes use of an elderly person’s funds, property or other assets. Sometimes others may acquire these assets by taking advantage of an elderly person who lacks the capacity to make rational decisions. They may also use unspoken or outright threats to gain access to these funds. In other cases, the elderly person trusts them and then gives them unfettered access to their accounts.
Withdrawing funds or cashing checks from an elderly individual’s bank or investment accounts without permission is one of the most common examples of elder financial abuse. Forging signatures and outright theft are also examples of this abuse.
In California probate law, elder abuse can include exerting undue influence. In this, another individual pressures an elderly person into changing a will to benefit the person exerting the influence. This person may attempt to estrange the elderly person from close family members and cause the elderly person to become dependent on him/her. Often, beneficiaries will not even know about the sudden change to the will until after the elderly individual has passed away.
How Can I Identify and Stop Elder Financial Abuse?
Some of the signs an elderly person may be the victim of exploitation include:
- A friend, relative or caregiver attempts to isolate an elderly individual from friends and family
- A caregiver or other professional receives frequent checks or gifts from an elderly person
- Bills are often not paid on time
- An elderly person’s bank activity seems unusual
- The elderly person lives in conditions that are significantly below his or her financial means
- An elderly person changes a will or transfers assets for unclear reasons
To minimize the possibility of this affecting a loved one, you can take a number of measures, such as:
- Staying in touch with your elderly friend or relative; close communication and frequent visits are the best ways to stop elderly abuse.
- Involving a professional accountant or attorney for financial decisions who are bound by their fiduciary duties.
- If you suspect your loved one is a victim of mental or physical abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, contact the police and social services immediately. Then, speak to a probate lawyer as soon as possible.
Locate a Probate Lawyer in Northern California
Triay Law Office has worked with families involved in probate disputes since 1978. Our probate litigation lawyers can work through conflicts that arise in the probate process. Call our law office today to get started.