For most Californians, elder financial abuse is a topic of glancing interest. It is only when a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt is the victim of the abuse that family members give the subject intense focus.
While elder financial abuse may be ubiquitous, those who regularly prosecute the abusers in the civil Superior Courts are not numerous. There are over 29,000 active lawyers in Alameda, Contra Costa & San Francisco counties.
While I'm not aware of a statistical analysis on elder financial abuse as a practice area for these three Northern California counties, my personal experience is that a relatively small percentage of these lawyers regularly practice probate law, a smaller percentage routinely engage in estate, trust and probate litigation and an even a smaller percentage are fully engaged in both probate court-related litigation and civil court elder financial abuse litigation.
Just about anyone with a heart would agree that elder financial abuse is reprehensible. Its definition may elude those not regularly engaged in protecting elders and their families, but there are some familiar guideposts in outlining the statutory parameters of elder financial abuse.
Elder financial abuse is comprised of four main elements: (1) Vulnerability of the victim; (2) Apparent authority of the wrongdoer; (3) Actions are tactics of the wrongdoer that use control, affection, intimidation or coercion to initiate changes in the victim's personal or property rights; and (4) An unfair result.
Now I caution that for the sake of brevity, the above summary is at best skeletal.
There are so many facts, actions and tactics that are peculiar to any one case that a bare-bones description just does not do the case justice. That said, the details of each case are best discussed with experienced counsel.
If you suspect that your family member is a victim of elder financial abuse, we are happy to discuss the specifics of the wrongdoing with you. Call us at Hackard Law: (916) 313-3030. We look forward to hearing from you.