Every year in Los Angeles, elder financial abuse defrauds our senior citizens, stealing away hard-earned retirement income and decades of savings. Families, communities, and the local economy all suffer from this form of financial exploitation. There’s plenty more than money involved, though – the well-being of our elderly loved ones and neighbors is on the line. As estate and trust litigation attorneys, we represent beneficiaries and heirs whose rights have been violated, and if necessary we hold perpetrators of elder financial abuse accountable in a court of law.
As the largest and most populous county in California, Los Angeles also has a growing number of senior citizens. In order to prevent elder financial abuse, LA residents have to be especially watchful of vulnerabilities our elders might exhibit – features that bad actors use to perpetrate fraud and even arrange the unlawful transfer of the family home. Here’s a list of key vulnerabilities compiled by the magazine Financial Advisor. Someday they may help you identify when an elderly loved one, client, or friend needs a second opinion, and perhaps professional assistance, in managing their affairs. Take note of the following:
- Cognitive Decline: Inability to process simple concepts. The elder can’t understand basic financial transactions.
- Rash Decisions: The elder makes decisions inconsistent with long-term plans or commitments.
- Mood Swings: The elder experiences quick shifts in mood with strong emotions.
- Refusal to Cooperate: The elder refuses to adhere to financial and investment advice, even though that advice matches up with previously stated goals.
- Confusion: The elder may be upset or confused about supposed missing funds in accounts, even though no unauthorized withdrawals or expenditures have been made.
- Forgetfulness: The elder doesn’t remember or is unaware of recent financial transactions.
All the above-mentioned factors are signs that it’s time to get serious about protecting your elder’s financial well-being from exploitation and abuse. Meet with family, lawyers, and financial professionals to decide what steps to make for your elderly loved one, whether that be power of attorney, account-sharing, a conservatorship, or trust. Unfortunately there’s no shortage of predators out to take advantage of LA seniors, so act now to secure the future rather than later – at a much greater cost.
Hackard Law regularly protects Los Angeles clients in estate, probate, and trust lawsuits. Many times these cases are related to elder financial abuse and undue influence, and we act to safeguard the interests of victims of wrongdoing. You can call us today at 213-357-5200. We’ll be glad to listen to your story, and see how we can best help you.