What Does the Law Mean by “Undue Influence”?
Isolated seniors may be victims of “undue influence” by others who lead the vulnerable senior into a transaction or contract that causes injury. Persons exerting undue influence over seniors include caregivers, insurance agents, financial advisors, fiduciaries, and others who seek to gain financially by inducing the senior to do something for them. California law defines this “undue influence” generally as “excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity.” Calif. Welf & Inst. Code § 15610.70(a). The primary factors of undue influence or “excess persuasion” are outlined below.
The San Francisco and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent senior victims of undue influence in a variety of cases. Caregivers may get themselves inserted in a senior’s will or get the senior to make outright gifts to them, insurance agents may sell a senior an inappropriate/unsuitable insurance policy or other investment, a fiduciary may convince a senior to amend a trust agreement in the fiduciary’s interests, others may convince the senior to name them as beneficiary of an annuity or life insurance policy.
Whatever the transaction and whomever the abuser, our financial elder abuse attorneys can represent an aggrieved senior in getting his or her money back, undoing the harmful transaction or contract, and obtaining all other remedies available under California law including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing a successful action against the abuser. If you or a loved one is a California senior who has been injured by financial elder abuse, call us today at (415)441-8669.
Factors of Undue Influence
Factors that establish undue influence include:
- The senior’s vulnerability. Evidence of vulnerability includes incapacity, illness, disability, lack of education, emotional distress, cognitive impairment, isolation or dependency, and whether the influencer knew of the senior’s vulnerability.
- The apparent authority of the influencer. Evidence of authority includes status as a fiduciary, care provider, healthcare professional, spiritual advisor, expert, and/or professional credentials as an insurance agent, broker, or financial advisor or other qualification.
- The conduct of the influencer, including controlling the necessities of life, medication, and care; controlling the victim’s access to family and friends; controlling access to information and intercepting mail and phone calls; using affection, intimidation or coercion; initiating changes in financial affairs; insisting on quick decisions; suggesting purchases or financial changes at inappropriate times and place; and claiming expertise in effecting changes.
- The equity (or inequity) of the result: The Courts will consider the economic consequences to the victim, a divergence from prior intent and dispositions of property, the relationship between the value received versus the payment made by the victim, and the appropriateness of the transaction in light of the length and nature of the relationship between the victim and the influencer.
How Evans Law Firm, Inc. Can Help
Whether an abuser exerts undue influence or other tactics of financial elder abuse – or uses a combination of tactics to abuse a senior – our San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys can help. California defines financial elder abuse broadly and allows for multiple remedies for victims. Our financial elder abuse attorneys are experiences in all manner of cases involving financial elder abuse against all manner of actors. We litigate cases on behalf of injured seniors against abusive caregivers, embezzling trustees or persons acting under Powers of Attorney, unscrupulous insurance agents and companies that sell inappropriate/unsuitable policies to seniors, and financial advisors and fiduciaries who wrongfully take a senior’s property.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California contact California financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid Evans and the other Evans Law Firm elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with all types of physical and financial elder abuse, investment and securities fraud and annuity fraud, and nursing home abuse. We can guide your case through a jury trial, or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle qui tam and whistleblower lawsuits, whole life insurance and universal life insurance cases, and cases involving indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.