Caregiver Marries Dementia Sufferer
Misappropriates Up To $300,000 Of Funds
Changes To Property Deed And Will
California law presumes that gifts – made either during life or at death – by an elder or dependent adult to their care custodian are the product of undue influence (a defined term), and thus void, unless the undue influence presumption is overcome by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. Many predatory care custodians marry their elder or dependent adult patient to take advantage of them. Under California Probate Code § 21380(a)(4), gifts to care custodians who marry their dependent adult within six (6) months prior to the gift (date of transfer) or to the execution of a testamentary document (i.e., a will or trust) are presumed to be the product of undue influence. We have represented families where caregivers have married elders or dependent adults to financially exploit them and have their estate plan changed to benefit them away from the individual’s children or other family members. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or throughout California, call us today at (415)441-8669. We will pursue all persons responsible for a senior’s injury. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Caregiver Financially Exploits 86-Year-Old With Dementia
In a recently reported case, a caregiver is on trial for financially exploiting an 86-year-old man with dementia under her care. According to the complaint, the caregiver began to work for her victim when his wife of 64 years was still alive. One month after his wife died, the caregiver (age 40) persuaded the man (then age 86 and suffering from dementia) to marry her. She put herself on the deed to his home and had him execute a new Will leaving her everything, according to police. She allegedly purchased a new SUV for herself with the man’s money and made cash and check withdrawals off his bank accounts totaling $111,000. account belonging to the man. The caregiver was employed by an in-home caregiver agency at the time of the alleged criminal acts. Following an investigation, police arrested the caregiver on charges of theft and financial elder abuse and also for violation of her parole on a prior drug charge. The criminal case is now being tried on the financial elder abuse and theft charges.
Protecting Older Loved Ones
The reported case illustrates just how vulnerable older people are to financial exploitation especially after the loss of a longtime spouse or some other trauma, like a stroke. We have seen cases with facts very similar to those of the reported case and know how aggressive some unscrupulous caregivers can be in taking everything a senior or dependent adult has. In order to prevent this kind of exploitation of any loved one who needs in home care, stay involved in their life. If a caregiver seems to be getting to intimate or friendly, get rid of them and hire someone new. Keep an eye on all of your older loved ones’ accounts. Change the mailing address for bank statements so that they come to you instead of the older person’s home where strangers can see account numbers. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver.
If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the victim or his or her family. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.
 Under California estate and trust law “care custodian” means “a person who provides health or social services to a dependent adult.” California Probate Code § 21362(a). The definition of “care custodian” under the Elder Abuse Act is broader and includes the employer, agencies and facilities that employ persons providing care or services for the elder or dependent adult. Calif. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.17.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in the case in any way.