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Jan 25, 2021 by |

California and San Diego County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Theft Of Social Security Benefits and Power of Attorney Abuse

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Online Access To Social Security Benefits

Dementia Sufferers And Invalid Powers of Attorney

Seeking Justice For Injured Seniors

When seniors suffer a stroke, are hospitalized, or experience deepening dementia, the risk of financial elder abuse becomes very high.  The San Diego County and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. have experience helping seniors and families recover when caregivers or others use the calamities in older people’s lives to steal or manipulate legal documents to benefit themselves.  Financial predators act quickly when they see any opportunity; the result can be devastating – bank balances, Social Security Benefits, and even a senior’s home can disappear by a few forgeries or online impersonations.   If you suspect any financial abuse of a senior loved in San Diego County or elsewhere in California, call us today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.  Act as soon as you detect any problem; financial elder abuse does not stop on its own.

Strokes And Hospitalizations

Traumatic events like strokes, heart attacks, illnesses required hospitalization, or the onslaught of worsening dementia are all moments financial abusers can take advantage of.  Our litigators had one case, for example, where a caregiver demanded an older victim sign a Power of Attorney appointing her as his agent even before she would call the ambulance after the older man suffered a stroke at home. That case, like many others, also involved forged checks, online access to bank accounts, and changes in IRA, life insurance, and bank account beneficiary designations for the benefit of the caregiver and her children.  While the amounts at stake vary, patterns of financial elder abuse are remarkably similar from case to case – an isolated senior suffers a stroke or declines into dementia and money and property start getting diverted to a caregiver or maybe a second spouse or a new stranger who has taken an inordinate interest in the senior’s life

How Elder Counsel Helps

Much of financial elder abuse is outright theft, such as stealing Social Security benefits (by changing direct deposit instructions) or forgeries.  Other forms of exploitation may not be crimes but they are equally if not more disastrous.  These steps include abuse of Powers of Attorney or convincing a failing senior to redo their estate plan for the benefit of a caregiver.   Cases of financial elder abuse have really spiked during the pandemic, both as a result of the forced social isolation of seniors and the economic desperation of caregivers and aides struggling in the economic downturn.  But victims and their families are not powerless to do something about abuse. Right now, families need to be extra-vigilant to counteract potential financial elder abuse of older loved ones.  That is complicated by social distancing rules, but by reviewing statements and financial records you can look for suspicious activity.  Keep an eye on all a senior’s accounts and where their Social Security or other sources of retirement income are deposited.  While reporting any suspicions to the authorities is important call elder counsel too.  The authorities may open a case but they may well not be able to get your money back.  The Social Security Administration, for example, cannot resolve problems when someone has misused your Social Security number or personal account information.  But elder abuse lawyers, such as the elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, can pursue those responsible for the abuse.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans and the other elder abuse litigators have experience pursuing caregivers and other persons responsible for financial abuse of older persons, and getting recovery for the injured elder.  Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys pursue all available remedies against all parties responsible for the injuries.  Remedies include recovery of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your action.  If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Diego County or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid and the other Evans Law Firm elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.

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