Risk of Financial Elder Abuse by Caregivers
Spotting Financial Elder Abuse
Earlier this summer police arrested the former caregiver of late Marvel Comic creator Stan Lee on charges of fiduciary elder abuse,and embezzling artwork, cash, and other assets, worth over $5 million. Months before he died, Lee had released videos of himself assuring his fans that he was not a victim of elder abuse. It is now alleged that Lee made those videos under duress. The persuasive power that many caregivers have over their elderly clients should never be underestimated; often an elder can be completely unaware of any financial abuse as it happens.
The elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm represent victims of financial elder abuse and their loved ones in San Francisco and throughout California. Our lawyers pursue any responsible parties whether caregivers, stock brokers, trustees, agents under a Power of Attorney, conservators, financial advisors or retirement planners, insurance agents selling inappropriate products like annuities or life insurance and others. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call our financial elder abuse lawyers today at (415) 441-8669.
How to Spot Financial Elder Abuse
The best way to deal with financial elder abuse is to detect and stop it as soon as possible. To that end, here are some possible signs of financial elder abuse:
- Blocking family and friends from seeing the elder or the elder’s home (Stan Lee’s caregiver did this, among other things).
- An elder allowing a caregiver to make financial or medical decisions for them.
- Last-minute 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A caregiver or other person screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail.
The onset of financial exploitation often begins slowly and gradually increases over time as the senior’s cognitive abilities deteriorate. Keep an eye on a loved one’s financial transactions and any caregiver assigned to the home or new “friends” surrounding the senior. Never ever give a Power of Attorney to a caregiver. Keep valuables, bank information and checkbooks in a secure place. Drop by unexpectedly and often to check in. Speak with your elderly loved one alone to find out how they’re doing; don’t let a caregiver lurk around as the senior may hesitate to open up in their presence if there’s a problem.
If you or someone you love is the victim of financial elder abuse by strangers or a caregiver, trustee, stock broker, insurance agent, financial advisor or other party here in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans and the other financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with securities, annuity, and other investment fraud, financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases including offshore tax avoidance cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any wat.