Guarding Against Elder Financial Abuse | CA Trust Litigation
- March 10, 2017 - Elder Financial Abuse,
In California, we define elder financial abuse as the “taking” of funds or property from an elder (someone aged 65 and up). Elder financial abuse can include cut-and-dry theft, or it might be more refined and hard-to-detect. According to California law, if an abuser receives property from an elder through a will or trust by way of undue influence, that would qualify as “taking.”
One of the most difficult aspects of grappling with financial elder abuse is the phenomenon of undue influence – it’s an insidious factor in disputed wills or trusts where wrongdoing is suspected. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a family member, friend, caregiver, or financial or legal professional to gradually assume ever greater control of a senior citizen’s life, including their bank and trust accounts. Such a position can be easily exploited via undue influence by wrongdoers who want to hijack an estate.
It is great when family members of the victimized elder can act fast. Of course, this is not always the case, because the common mark of the wrongdoer is secrecy. The lesson here is a bit like Homeland Security’s admonition – “If you see something, say something.” When you say something to lawyers like us who practice in prosecuting civil financial elder abuse cases, we work to implement the remedies that fit the needs of the elder. These remedies may include:
- Lawsuits to recover financial assets, personal property and real property;
- Annulments of bogus marriages;
- Restraining orders to restrict contact between perpetrators and victims;
- Conservatorships; and
- Removal of an abusive trustee or revocation of power of attorney.
Elder financial abuse is a significant danger, and not only to our elderly loved ones and neighbors. The simple truth is that exploitation of our seniors ends up destroying entire family fortunes and damaging the communities around us. If you are facing a case of elder financial abuse in California and need help, don’t give up. At Hackard Law we work daily to protect our clients and their elderly loved ones from elder financial abuse across California, from Sacramento and Los Angeles to the Bay Area and San Diego. Call us at 916-313-3030 so we can help you today.