Unsuitable Insurance and Risky Investments
Exploitation of Anxiety Over Low Bank Interest and Increasing Cost of Living
Promoters of Risky Investment Opportunities
For every reported case of older adult abuse, 24 cases go unreported. Elder abuse can be financial, physical, emotional, or sexual, and can also include neglect or isolation. Signs and symptoms can appear as someone not being cared for, having unexplained bruises, being depressed or anxious, or having unusual bank account activity. Incidents of elder abuse are on the increase. Particularly, cases of financial elder abuse have truly spike during the COVID-19 pandemic and this period of financial anxiety about a volatile stock market, low bank interest rates, and higher cost of living.. Financial elder abuse can be anything from outright theft from a senior or the sale of unsuitable insurance or investments where the seller earns a commission for putting the senior into an unsuitable or inappropriate product. Whatever the form of financial or other abuse, the problem is getting bigger, and even as we emerge from the pandemic statistics still suggest a growing problem especially as our population ages. San Mateo County’s older adult population is expected to grow by over 70% by 2030. The problem of financial elder abuse here in San Mateo County is likely to grow in keeping with that trend. To break the cycle, people need to act whenever they suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, neighbor or friend. The San Mateo County elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their loved ones who suffer any form of elder financial abuse. Call us today at (415)441-8669.
See, Stop, Prevent
Look out for signs of abuse or manipulation of older loved ones and if you see something do something about it by alerting the authorities and calling counsel. The best protection for a senior is involvement in their lives. Our elder abuse litigators see time after time that the most common problem in financial elder abuse cases is that the senior victim is isolated and alone. So, in addition to the below, stay active in your older loved ones’ lives and if you are a senior stay connected to your family, friends, and social networks that can help you when you need advice or care support.
- When a person is still mentally sharp, help him or her make a plan that designates a trusted person as Power of Attorney. But never, ever, grant a power of Attorney to a caregiver.
- Review any business decision a senior makes and do not let them be pressured into a quick decision based on some anxiety they may have or the high-pressure tactics of an insurance agent or adivor.
- Thoroughly vet anyone coming into the home for senior care and check references.
- Stay connected with older loved ones through regular phone calls, Zoom or Facetime sessions, or emails.
- Become a “trusted contact” to monitor bank account and brokerage activity.
- Sign up for a service such as EverSafe to track financial activity and notify an advocate of unusual withdrawals or spending.
- Set up direct deposit for checks so others don’t have to cash them.
- Do not sign any documents that you don’t understand.
- Keep valuables, cash, financial information and records, ATM cards and credit cards out of reach.
Where Elder Counsel Can Help
Even where precautions are in place, financial elder abuse can of course still strike. If it does, act immediately. Any stolen money can disappear quickly. The best chance in getting it back is to pursue the party responsible at once. The financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm know how to investigate financial abuse cases and pursue the predators quickly and effectively. Often the financial abuse can be much more complex than just stolen cash and may involve trusts, bank account beneficiary designations, forged checks, reverse mortgages, invalid deeds and other property transfers, and more. Our elder abuse attorneys have experience with these complex cases and will pursue all available remedies for injured seniors, including getting money back (restitution), undoing any invalid contracts they may have been induced to enter (rescission), and getting an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing their case.
Ingrid M. Evans and the other San Mateo County elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their families against any persons or businesses responsible for the abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.