Predators Exploit The Dying
Spotting Financial Elder Abuse
Over the years, our litigators have seen cases where caregivers and others financially exploit seniors suffering from terminal illness, stealing from the dying older person right up until death. These predators take cash, write checks, forge signatures, impersonate the dying over the phone and internet, open safes, steal jewelry and purses (sometimes right out of a hospital room), access bank accounts, use credit cards and even find ways to take or borrow against the dying person’s home. The Marin County, San Francisco, and California financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. know how devastating financial exploitation of the dying can be and we represent those who fall victim to any form of financial elder abuse from caregivers, insurance agents, financial planners, girlfriends or boyfriends, trustees, and others. If you or someone you know is suffering elder abuse in Marin or elsewhere in California, call the elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
In one recent case*, a caregiver and his fiancée were arrested after allegedly exploiting a terminally ill man for years. Authorities allege that the pair gained access to the man’s bank accounts and began to travel on his money and use his money to pay all their own expenses. When they had depleted his bank accounts, they then allegedly managed to take out a home equity line against his home to continue their spending spree. Authorities allege that this financial elder abuse had gone on for several years until a bank employee reported the suspicious activity.
Spotting Financial Elder Abuse
If you have a senior loved one who is under the care of an in-home caregiver or is otherwise failing and vulnerable to financial elder abuse, help protect them against this kind of devastating exploitation. Review their bank and credit card statements, protect their valuables, and talk with your senior loved one alone as often as you can (by Zoom or Facetime if you can during lockdown) and look for signs of financial elder abuse such as:
• Unexpected changes in wills, trusts, or powers of attorney.
• Sale to the senior of an inappropriate annuity or life insurance policy.
• Changes in spending habits and cash withdrawals or different types of spending than the senior normally incurs.
• The disappearance of valuable objects.
• An unexplained increase in check cashing, transfers of money, ATM withdrawals, or credit card activity.
• Opening of a new bank or brokerage account (or multiple accounts) or changing banks and brokerage firms.
• Unpaid bills.
• Unusual increase in investment activity or change in investment style toward riskier or unregistered investments.
• A senior who is overly reluctant to discuss financial matters perhaps out of fear from retaliation from a caregiver or other abuser.
• Allowing a new “friend” or caregiver to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf.
• A caregiver or other person screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail
We want to repeat one important piece of advice: Never ever give a Power of Attorney to a caregiver. Also, if you suspect any financial elder abuse, notify the authorities and seek qualified financial elder abuse lawyers, such as the 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.
If you or a loved one is or has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Marin County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm 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 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.