Checks, Cash, Credit Cards, and Caregivers
The Danger of Checks and Important Papers in Easy Reach
Preventing Caregiver Theft
In-home caregivers have access to a senior’s checks, cash, jewelry, silver, ATM and credit cards, bank accounts and important papers unless you keep them out of reach. In one recently reported case, police arrested a caregiver who allegedly stole over $1.1 million from a 94-year-old patient, including $500,000 in checks written on her account and a trust with $650,000 which the caregiver allegedly had transferred into her daughter’s name. The caregiver was apprehended as she allegedly attempted to cash a $90,000 check drawn on the senior’s account the day after the senior died. The California and Alameda County elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their loved ones victimized by any form of caregiver theft or financial elder abuse. If you or someone you know is a victim of financial elder abuse in Alameda County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
Our litigators have represented families of deceased seniors who were victims of financial elder abuse on very similar fact patterns. Often, the theft will start out in relatively small amounts and then grow quickly overtime since the older patient is not likely to be aware of what is going on. Isolated seniors living alone, such as the eleven alleged victims in the reported case, are the most vulnerable.
Steps to Protect Yourself or a Senior Loved One From Abuse and Fraud:
- Always run a background check and contact references for any in-home caregiver before hiring them. A background check on the caregiver in the reported case might have uncovered her alleged prior conviction.
- Never ever grant a Power of Attorney to a caregiver or show them a trust, Will or other financial papers.
- Keep cash, ATM cards, and credit cards out of reach.
- Keep important papers such as trust agreements and Wills hidden. Those are none of a caregiver’s business.
- Lock up jewelry and silver in a safe place. If jewelry, silver and gold are accessible they may be gone in a flash. Make an inventory of the personal property in the senior’s home.
- Never designate a caregiver as an authorized signer on any bank account.
- Keep Social Security numbers and account numbers in a secure place, off limits to any in-home caregivers.
- Never make a caregiver an authorized signer on a bank account or sign a blank check for them.
- Frequently review the senior’s bank statements, records and mail.
- Speak to the senior alone, without the caregiver present, to find out any problems they may be having.
Report any suspicions to the police but also call elder abuse counsel to 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 been the victim of elder abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. We can help guide your case through investigation, discovery, 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.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.