Communities across California overwhelmingly support programs to prevent financial elder abuse and to punish those responsible for this offense. California law provides clear civil and criminal remedies to enforce the rule that elder financial abusers must be held accountable for all the harms and losses that they cause. In estate, trust and probate litigation, that means that predators can be made to pay for their wrongdoing in civil court.
Prosecutors enforce criminal elder abuse laws against abusers committing estate theft, embezzlement, forgery or fraud against an elder (a person 65 years and older). The estate and trust litigation attorneys at Hackard Law enforce civil statutes holding elder abusers financially responsible for assisting in or taking, hiding or retaining the real or personal property of an elder or an elder's estate. These civil statutes apply to those acting with fraudulent intent as well as those using undue influence against the elder.
Our attorneys regularly apply these civil statutes to real life circumstances. Elder financial abuse cases invariably involve lying. Lying destroys trust - trust that is essential to the safety of our neighborhoods and communities, including family estates and trusts. Sometimes bad trustees, caretakers, family members or others in positions of authority lie to defraud elders of their property and assets. Common among the lies are promises of extraordinary investment returns, protection against other relatives, commitment to lifetime caring, and induced paranoia of the motives of longtime friends and family members.
While the death of an elder removes the main witness to an abuser's lie, there are many other "witnesses." Bank accounts, the testimony of neighbors, friends and family members, and the discovery of hidden documents shed light on the elder abuser's deceptions. The family victims of elder abusers move from disbelief to outrage in their discovery of financial elder abuse and the looting of an estate. This outrage is fueled by the lies of the wrongdoers.
Estate, trust and probate litigation against financial elder abusers is focused. Claims for the victim's harms and losses include the value of what was taken, attorneys' fees, and punitive damages to punish past misconduct and to deter future misconduct. If we're dealing with a bad trustee, we'll seek their immediate removal.
Trial of these cases is often focused - we "try the lie." Perpetrators of elder financial abuse spin stories rife with lies - lies often transparent, easily disproven and ultimately providing cause to impose significant damages against the abuser. If you have discovered a case of elder financial abuse that threatens your family's estate or trust, call us at Hackard Law. We protect client interests throughout California - from Sacramento, San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa to Los Angeles and San Diego. Our number is 916-313-3030. We look forward to speaking with you. Thank you.