Elder Financial Abuse
Spotlight on Financial Elder Abuse
Financial elder abuse has been highlighted in the media lately, pointing towards the need to understand certain warning signs of this exploitation. In particular, the recent New York Appellate Court’s upholding of Anthony D. Marshall’s defraud conviction against his elderly mother, Brooke Astor, has focused public attention on the need to understand these important signs of elder financial abuse.
A recent Consumer Report investigation into Elder financial abuse has highlighted certain warning signs to which loved ones of the elderly should become aware. Elderly people who have become socially isolated and attached to a single person are a major warning signs. Loved ones should also be on the lookout for unpaid bills or unusual bank account activity. Financial abuse may also be suspected for large gifts given to caretakers and unusual purchases on the part of the elderly person. Changes in the personal grooming of the elderly loved one and sudden changes in documents, such as a will, may also be red flags pointing toward Elderly financial abuse.
What Are These Senior And Elder Financial Annuity Lawsuits About
Lawsuits have been brought that allege that certain insurance companies and banks target elders and use scare tactics to pressure seniors into investing their life savings in deferred annuities, which can make the seniors’ savings inaccessible for 10-20 years (even in the case of emergencies), can carry exorbitant surrender charges and severe tax penalties, and can create complicated estate problems after death.
What Is An Annuity And When Are They Inappropriate For Seniors?
Annuities are insurance contracts. Annuities are designed to begin providing a return on investment after a lengthy period, sometimes as long as 10-20 years. Many of these annuities limit, particularly deferred annuities, for a period of years, an annuitant’s access to their initial investment unless the annuitant is willing to incur significant “surrender” charges and penalties.
As a result of these significant surrender charges and penalties, many senior purchasers would be unable to access funds trapped in deferred annuities – in the event of medical emergencies or other financial problems – without placing risk to their principal or earned interest. Additionally, many of these annuity products are sold by agents being paid significant commissions for such sales, creating a potential conflict of interest. For this reason, certain insurance companies, as well as industry standards, recognize that these annuities must be carefully matched to the needs of those over the age of 60. The lawsuit alleges that Defendants know, or should know, that many financial products they sell to seniors over the age of 60 are entirely inappropriate to the population they specifically target, namely seniors. These deferred annuities are often sold through banks or through free estate or financial planning seminars.
Evans Law Firm Can Determine if You are Eligible To Join a Senior And Elder Financial Abuse Lawsuits
The lawsuits are designed to be class actions. If you are 60 years of age or older (at the time of purchase) and have purchased an annuity from a bank or after attending an estate or financial planning seminar you may be eligible to bring or join a lawsuit. An attorney at our firm can help you seek the following remedies by filing a lawsuit:
- To enjoin Defendants’ sales of improper annuities to seniors and / or
- Temporary and permanent injunctive relief and / or
- Restitution to the senior victims and / or
- Disgorgement of profits from Defendants and / or
- Treble, double, punitive and compensatory damages and / or
- Attorneys’ fees, penalties and costs of suit.
Email Evans Law Firm, Inc. if you would like an attorney to investigate whether you have a potential elder financial abuse claim.