What is a Los Angeles financial elder abuse attorney? It is an advocate who can go to court and make sure that an individual or entity literally pays for what they/it has taken from an older adult through undue influence. The attorney not only restores the older adult financially, but may also win treble and punitive damages against the wrongdoer.
It is relatively easy to unduly influence someone who is vulnerable. Obviously, someone who is suffering from cognitive challenges can be manipulated, swayed or even duped. Add to the mix other chronic health conditions and dependency on others for assistance and you have the perfect victim. While this ultimately does affect the future beneficiaries of their estate, in real terms, while the older adult is alive, it strips them of much-needed money to support themselves and of course, their dignity. Susan has seen the devastating results of financial elder abuse on her clients’ financial health.
Common Examples of Financial Elder Abuse
A popular scam perpetuated on the elderly involves convincing them that they have won a prize. However, the catch is that they must send money to cover the costs of shipping, transfer or other costs. It seems like a small investment (really not small, sometimes thousands of dollars), they will receive a financial windfall. Often, the fraudulent operator may try to gain credibility by claiming to be a lawyer, customs official or someone associated with the government. After surrendering their banking information, the elderly person discovers that their bank account has been drained.
Other scams can involve someone who falsely perpetuates a love interest in the elderly person in order to swindle them out of financial resources or property. After convincing them of their affection, the person skips town with everything. Some cases even occur online, where the elderly victim never meets the scammer in person.
Perhaps the saddest example of financial elder abuse is when adult children establish power of attorney or a trusteeship and transfer their elderly parent’s resources to themselves. Another antic is when an adult child takes the parent to an attorney’s office and gets mom or dad to change a trust to the sole benefit of the child. While this may or may not financially impact the older adult during his or her life, it is still elder abuse because the parent’s free will is overcome by the power of the child’s persuasion.
How Can a Financial Elder Abuse Attorney Help Me?
The Older Americans Act of 1965 (reauthorized in 2020) defines elder financial abuse, or financial exploitation, as “The fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, or that results in depriving an older individual of rightful access to, or use of, benefits, resources, belongings or assets.”
California law defines financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult when a person “(1) takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains (2) the real or personal property (3) of an elder or dependent adult (4) for a wrongful use or with the intent to defraud, or both.” A person is equally liable for financial elder abuse if he or she “assists” another in the above actions.
Under these laws, Susan B. Geffen, Los Angeles financial elder abuse attorney, can seek to prosecute anyone found guilty with a sufficient amount of evidence for financial elder abuse. The law provides that the victim may have their financial resources or other assets restored, as well as seek punitive damages and damages for pain and suffering.
You can be sure that Susan will leave no stone unturned in her vigorous pursuit of justice for your elderly loved one. Contact her today if you suspect that you or a loved one are a victim of financial elder abuse in California.