Increasing Reports Of Financial Elder Abuse
What To Look For
Financial elder abuse is on the rise here in Alameda County. Adult Protective Services received approximately 6000 reports of elder abuse in Alameda County last year, 70% of which were reports of financial elder abuse. The elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm represent seniors in Alameda County and elsewhere in California harmed by financial abuse; physical, sexual or emotional abuse; overmedication; and neglect or abandonment. Our attorneys litigate against those responsible. If you or someone you know is suffering from any form of elder abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, call our elder abuse attorneys today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
Seniors dependent on in-home caregivers are especially vulnerable to financial exploitation by the caregiver. Always perform a background check on any individual or agency you hire. Once a caregiver is in the home, drop by unexpectedly and speak with the senior alone to find out how everything is going. Don’t let the caregiver lurk around while you’re visiting; it’s a bad sign when a caregiver doesn’t want the senior to be alone with loved ones.
Look for signs of financial elder abuse:
- Unexpected changes in wills, trusts or powers of attorney.
- Sale to the senior of an inappropriate annuity or life insurance policy.
- Changes in spending habits and cash withdrawals or different types of spending than the senior normally incurs.
- Sudden or unexplained check cashing, transfers of money or ATM withdrawals or credit card activity.
- Opening of a new bank or brokerage account (or multiple accounts) or changing banks and brokerage firms.
- Unpaid bills.
- Unusual increase in investment activity or change in investment style.
- A senior who is overly reluctant to discuss financial matters perhaps out of fear from retaliation from a caregiver or other abuser.
- Allowing a new friend or trusted acquaintance to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf
- Someone screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail
To help prevent financial elder abuse, keep credit cards, cash, valuables and important papers like a Will or Power of Attorney in a secure place, off limits to caregivers and other strangers. Never grant a Power of Attorney to a caregiver or show them a trust, Will or other financial papers; that’s none of their business. Make an inventory of property in the home. Review bank statements, important records, and the mail. Report suspicions to the authorities and call qualified elder abuse counsel. While official reporting is important, you should pursue all civil remedies available to senior victims under California elder abuse law. Our lawyers handle elder abuse cases of all varieties and know the remedies, extra damages, and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to which you or your victimized loved one is entitled.
If you or a loved one is or has been the victim of elder abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Alameda County elder abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.