May 6, 2019 by |

California and Marin Financial Elder Abuse and Annuity Attorneys: Financial Exploitation of Seniors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Financial Elder Abuse Strikes Seniors From Many Directions

Statistics reveal that elder abuse strikes as many as 1 in 5 seniors in America and the economic toll of financial elder abuse alone may be as high as $2.6 billion annually. Financial elder abuse strikes seniors across ever demographic and seniors here in Marin County are as vulnerable as seniors elsewhere in the U.S.  The Marin financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims of financial elder abuse and their loved ones whether the financial elder abuse comes at the hands of strangers, caregivers, stock brokers, trustees, conservators, financial advisors or planners, or insurance agents selling inappropriate products like annuities or life insurance for a commission.  If you or someone you know is over 60 and lives in Marin or elsewhere in California and is a victim of financial elder abuse, call us today at 415-441-8669. 

In one recent California financial elder abuse case,[1] law enforcement conducted a four-month investigation into suspected financial elder abuse of an 85-year-old woman by a local suspect.  Detectives developed leads in the case which lead to search warrants for bank records and residences.  The suspect, a 67-year-old woman, was eventually arrested on suspicion of elder abuse, identity theft, and other charges.  Authorities determined that the victim had suffered a loss of $34,000 in cash and other property.  The suspect was not identified as a caregiver for the victim; the financial losses have not been recovered.  Strangers and new acquaintances of any variety can be elder abusers.

Preventing Financial Elder Abuse

Early detection of financial elder abuse is your best defense. Signs of financial elder abuse may include:

  1. Unexpected changes in wills, trusts or powers of attorney.
  2. Sale to the senior of an inappropriate annuity or life insurance policy.
  3. Changes in spending habits and cash withdrawals or different types of spending than the senior normally incurs.
  4. Sudden or unexplained check cashing, transfers of money or ATM withdrawals or credit card activity.
  5. Opening of a new bank or brokerage account (or multiple accounts) or changing banks and brokerage firms.
  6. Unpaid bills.
  7. Unusual increase in investment activity or change in investment style.
  8. A senior who is overly reluctant to discuss financial matters perhaps out of fear from retaliation from a caregiver or other abuser.

The onset of financial exploitation is often undetectable, starting out slowly and gradually increasing over time as the senior’s cognitive abilities deteriorate.  A caregiver may gradually start taking money or spending a senior’s money for themselves. An insurance agent may approach a senior with a small burial policy and soon start recommending expensive annuities or life insurance.  A stock broker may make one or two unauthorized trades and gradually begin to churn stocks in a senior’s account, buying and selling the same or similar stocks again and again. Keep an eye on a loved one’s financial transactions and any caregiver assigned to the home. Never ever give a Power of Attorney to a caregiver. Keep valuables and bank information and checkbooks in a secure place. Respond quickly if you suspect financial elder abuse.  Notify the authorities and seek qualified financial elder abuse lawyers, such as the Marin elder abuse lawyers at Evans Law Firm, to pursue all remedies available to California financial elder abuse victims including restitution (getting your money back), rescission (undoing an invalid contract), punitive damages, and recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing a financial elder abuse action against wrongdoers.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one been the victim of financial elder abuse or exploitation, undue influence, or other investment fraud in Marin County, or in any California county, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. 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.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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