Financial Elder Abuse on the Rise in San Francisco
Law Enforcement Only Investigates a Fraction of the Cases
Cases of elder and dependent adult abuse in the City jumped 18 percent in 2017, according to a report released Tuesday by the Family Violence Council in San Francisco. While reports of elder physical abuse declined, reports of elder financial abuse shot up. The San Francisco and California financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims of financial and physical elder abuse whether at the hands of strangers, caregivers, trustees, conservators, financial advisors, or insurance agents selling inappropriate products like annuities or life insurance for a commission. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call our elder abuse lawyers today at (415)441-8669.
Undue influence exerted by caregivers, financial advisors, insurance agents, and others often lurks behind financial elder abuse. One official with Adult Protective Services illustrated the point by repeating a common threat to seniors: “If you don’t do this, I’ll put you in a home.” Sadly, many abusers get away with the abuse as police investigation rates are low. Of the 428 cases of financial elder abuse reported to San Francisco police in 2017, only 58, or 14 percent, were investigated. This is why we recommend you always consult with qualified counsel as well as report any suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services and the police. Our elder abuse litigators will pursue abusers and go after all the remedies the law provides. Remedies include restitution (getting your money back) and rescission (undoing an invalid contract), extra damages, and recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing the elder abuse lawsuit.
Preventing Elder Abuse
When an aging senior lives alone, he or she is always at greater risk of elder abuse. If you have a senior loved one, stay involved in his or her life and visit regularly, and consider alternative living arrangements when your senior loved one is no longer able to live alone. To prevent financial elder abuse, regularly review bank accounts, checkbooks, statements, and important papers. Accompany seniors on trips to the bank or any business meeting. Ward off strangers who take a sudden interest in their “well-being” or financial matters. Do a background check on anyone you hire to assist your loved one in the home. If your loved one has an in-home caregiver or other new acquaintance who seems overly interested in the elderly person’s life, be on guard. Look for signs of financial exploitation:
- Unexpected changes in account balances or banking practices
- New bank accounts
- Allowing a new friend or trusted acquaintance to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf
- Unauthorized or unexplained withdrawals
- Disappearance of cash or valuable possessions
- Unanticipated transfers of assets to others
- Unpaid bills
- Sudden changes to a will, trust, or other important financial documents
- Someone screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of elder abuse including financial elder abuse by a caregiver, trustee, insurance agent, broker, financial advisor or other party, call Ingrid M. Evans and the other San Francisco and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. 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.