The Increasing Epidemic Of Financial Elder Abuse
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15. Established by the World Health Organization some years ago, the international day is intended to increase global awareness of the problem of elder abuse in all its forms. Financial elder abuse is an especially disastrous form of abuse of seniors, and millions of seniors are victims of financial elder abuse every year in this country. Most cases, according to reports, remain unreported because the victim is embarrassed or ashamed by what has happened, or because they suffer from cognitive impairment and are unaware of the abuse. Senior victims of financial elder abuse are frequently targets of abuse from the very people they have entrusted to care for them or manage their financial affairs once they have lost the ability to manage for themselves.
The San Mateo County and California financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims in civil actions against all manner of abusers: caregivers, trustees and those acting under Powers of Attorney, insurance agents, brokers, reverse mortgage lenders, financial advisors, embezzling family members, caregivers, and scam artists. If you or someone you know is the victim of financial elder abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California, call Evans Law Firm today at 415-441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Spotting Signs of Financial Elder Abuse
Isolation is the biggest danger for seniors when it comes to being victims of financial elder abuse. A senior who is isolated and alone is easy prey for financial predators. If you’re the loved one of a senior, stay involved in the senior’s life and look for signs of financial elder abuse. Some red flags are:
- The senior transfers or wires unusually large amounts of money.
- There are suspicious withdrawals from accounts, strange credit card charges, and dubious checks written on the senior’s account.
- Longstanding accounts are closed and new accounts are opened.
- Important papers or valuables go missing.
- The senior is reluctant to discuss financial matters.
- The senior changes his or her Will, Trust, or other estate plan unexpectedly.
- The senior is confused about financial matters.
- A new individual or caregiver has quickly become overly involved in the senior’s life.
Prevention and Remedies
The above signs are just a few suggestions of what to look for. Remember if you’re a senior or the loved one of a senior to be cautious in all financial matters. Know that anyone could be a potential financial predator. Report financial elder abuse to the authorities when you first suspect it but also seek counsel to pursue all available remedies under California law including the mandatory award to you of attorneys’ fees for bringing your case.
Seek the advice of people you trust. Transparency is important but do not share confidences and personal matters with people you do not really know. Do not relinquish authority by a Power of Attorney to anyone unless it’s someone you completely trust. Never, ever, grant a power of attorney to a caregiver. Make sure checks are kept in a safe place. If in-home care is required, do a thorough background check on anyone before hiring them. Dependent seniors are often victims of financial elder abuse by caregivers. Keep an eye out for strangers who suddenly become over-involved in a senior’s daily life. Don’t respond to door-to-door, phone or internet solicitations for money; these are the most recurring types of financial elder abuse. Lastly, if you’re a senior, don’t isolate; let loved ones and longtime friends and professionals help you just as you helped them in your younger years. If you’re the loved one of a senior stay involved and maintain daily contact.
If you or a loved one been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California, contact financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid Evans and the other Evans Law Firm financial elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). Our attorneys have experience with all types of financial elder abuse, investment and securities fraud and annuity fraud. We can guide your case through a jury trial, through a FINRA arbitration if required when the abuser is a broker or financial advisor, or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.