Surviving Spouses Prey to Caregivers and Others
How to Protect Your Children and Ensure They Inherit the Family House
Consider Life Estates
Sadly, there’s a repeating pattern of caregivers and others getting their hands on a senior’s property after a spouse of many years passes away. Isolated seniors are particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation and things can go terribly wrong when a stranger or caregiver manipulates them for their own good. Greedy caregivers and other strangers exploit loneliness and failing abilities, and may move in on a senior’s money and even their family home. The Marin elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. see this pattern too often and know how devastating financial elder abuse and theft from seniors can be for them and their children later, particularly when someone has designs on the senior’s home. If you or someone you know is a victim of financial elder abuse regarding any kind of assets belonging to a senior here in Marin or elsewhere in California, call us today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
The pattern we see too often regarding an isolated senior’s home goes something like this: a married couple buys a home and raises their children there. The children grow up and leave home and the parents stay put. The years go by and one day the husband or wife passes away. As time goes on, the survivor needs assistance so he or she hires a caregiver. The caregiver may move in if the senior needs round the clock care. The senior grows increasingly dependent on the caregiver especially if isolated from family and friends. Dementia may set in. The unscrupulous caregiver begins to take over finances and sees the opportunity to lay hands on the senior’s home and money for themselves. By the time the senior passes, the caregiver may well have set it up so they get everything, including the family home.
This doesn’t have to happen. Married couples should consider leaving a life estate in the family home (and other property) for the surviving spouse, drawn so that on the death of the survivor the home and property pass to the couple’s children. The couple can create the life estate plan in a trust agreement while they both still have the capacity to act. Often estate planners overlook this safeguard and recommend joint ownership. Unfortunately, that path leaves the family home in the survivor’s name alone and vulnerable to exploitation by caregivers and others.
If you have already been the victim of any kind of financial elder abuse, we can help. 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 ones are entitled. We fight for seniors every day. If you or a loved one been the victim of elder abuse in Marin 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.
 Trusts and life estates have tax consequences and there may even be tax advantages for such arrangements. We do not provide tax advice at Evans Law Firm and always recommend you consult your tax advisor when considering any estate plan.