Recently, several major media outlets, including CNBC and Yahoo News, published reports on the role that financial advisors can play in combatting elder abuse. When these major media outlets wanted to get key background information on the ways in which financial advisors help to address the crisis of abuse among vulnerable senior populations, reporters turned to Ingrid Evans of Evans Law Firm, Inc.
Ingrid Evans is the founder of Evans Law, a San Francisco-based firm that offers representation in cases involving both physical and financial abuse of senior citizens. As a three-time finalist for California Consumer Attorney of the Year, she has demonstrated skill and compassion in advocating for the vulnerable senior population. It comes as no surprise that CNBC and Yahoo News turned to Ms. Evans for insight into the role that financial advisors can play as the “first line of defense against elder financial abuse.”
Elder Financial Abuse and Financial Advisors
CNBC and Yahoo News both explained that financial advisors are mandated reporters within the state of California. This means that a financial advisor who has reason to suspect abuse or exploitation must alert authorities.
Financial advisors may observe suspicious financial activity which could be indicative of wrongdoing and should be aware of red flags to watch out for, including financial advice which fails to consider tax status, age, and health. Ms. Evans offered one of many examples to Yahoo and CNBC of a possible transaction that should raise such an alert.
The transaction involved a situation where a 70-year-old had been pushed by a realtor into mortgaging her home to purchase an annuity. These are types of cases in which Evans Law Firm, Inc. can provide representation to seniors to help them recover compensation for losses resulting from bad financial advice. Advisors should be alert to all suspicious transactions which could be indicative of efforts to enrich others at the expense of a vulnerable senior.
Ms. Evans also warns that while advisors may be on the front lines in spotting abuse, these advisors themselves may sometimes be malicious forces in the lives of vulnerable elderly clients.
Financial advisors must comply with a variety of regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and other state and local rules. Unfortunately, as many as one in 13 financial advisors has been disciplined for misconduct, as Ms. Evans explained during a recent presentation at a Schwab Impact conference held in San Diego. Ms. Evans believes the actual instances of abuse are higher, as this data only includes financial advisors actually disciplined for misconduct.
Unfortunately, when fraud, misconduct or abuse occurs, seniors face challenges- and costs- associated with recovery of money. It is a common misconception that estate planning attorneys should assist seniors in asset protection and recovering from financial exploitation, but an estate planning attorney could charge thousands for recovery. Seniors should seek out a California financial elder abuse attorney who take cases on contingency so no legal fees will be assessed unless the attorney helps the victimized senior recover for losses.
The Evans Law Firm, Inc. is committed to helping protect seniors from abuse and exploitation of all forms. Whether a senior is victimized by physical or financial abuse on the part of caregivers or is offered bad advice from a financial advisor, our firm will be there to provide assistance pursuing all available legal remedies. We work on a contingent fee basis, which means seniors do not face legal costs unless funds are recovered. Call 415-441-8669 today or contact us online to find out more.