Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys in Valencia and Oxnard
Protecting Your Vulnerable Loved Ones
There are few things as heartbreaking as realizing a loved one is being
financially exploited by someone they trust, especially if the abuser
is a family member. It can be easy to feel powerless, especially if the
elderly loved one being targeted does not fully comprehend what is happening.
If you believe that your loved one may be the victim of financial elder
abuse, our firm can help. Our Valencia financial elder abuse litigation lawyers at Kaiden Elder
Law Group, PC are prepared to fight for your family and hold abusers accountable.
We understand how sensitive and precarious these situations can be. Our
team can employ numerous legal strategies to stop the abuse and make the
situation right as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Do not wait to address suspected financial elder abuse. If you suspect
that something is wrong, call
(661) 306-2500 or
contact us online today.
Who Commits Financial Elder Abuse?
The unfortunate reality is that, in most cases, an abuser will be an individual
close to the exploited elderly loved one. It can even be a member of your
family. This can make it challenging to discuss the situation, and many
will avoid addressing even obvious abuse for fear of creating discord
or upsetting other family members. Abusers of all types will often try
to limit their target’s contact with other loved ones, which can
make it challenging to help elderly victims.
Financial elder abusers are often:
Family Members. Though difficult to accept, it is unfortunately common for a child, grandchild,
spouse, or sibling to take advantage of an elderly loved one. Family dynamics
can be especially fraught and complex and can result in many types of
abuse going unnoticed or unaddressed for long periods of time.
Neighbors. If an elderly loved one lives alone, their neighbors may see an opportunity
to exploit the loved one, especially if they have some access to the residence.
Caregivers. A nurse or home care service worker will typically spend a great deal
of time alone with an elderly loved one and have complete access to their
residence. This can lead to scenarios where a caregiver attempts to inappropriately
compel a senior to take certain actions. They may also begin stealing
valuable items from the home.
Scammers. Though one can make new friends at any age, some career scammers will
aggressively work to integrate themselves into an elderly loved one’s
life. They may attempt to isolate the loved one from their family and
manipulate them into making certain types of financial decisions.
How Can I Recognize Financial Elder Abuse in California?
Financial elder abuse can take many forms. The state of California defines
financial elder abuse as action which results when a person
takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property
of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both. In other words, any deliberate effort to defraud, manipulate, or take
advantage of a senior’s financial assets will likely constitute
financial elder abuse in the eyes of California law.
Common examples of financial elder abuse include:
Theft. An abuser may “borrow” items and never return them or outright
steal property. Deliberately “buying” an asset at a rate far
below its actual value can also constitute theft in these situations.
Coercion. An abuser may attempt to force an elder to provide money or certain assets
through violent means. Even threats of violence or the withholding of
essential care constitute abusive conduct. Abusers can also attempt to
coerce a senior to include them in their
estate planning documents or list them as a beneficiary for their life insurance policy.
Continuous Demands. Trusted individuals in a senior’s circles may attempt to exploit
the elder’s generosity and limited mental capacity by frequently
asking for money or other assets.
Investment Schemes and Internet Scams. Many scammers specifically target the elderly in person and online. These
abusers will work to convince seniors that they are offering an excellent
investment opportunity or need their sensitive financial information for
one reason or another.
Joint Account Abuse. Some seniors will create joint accounts with one or more of their family
members. An abusive family member can potentially exploit this arrangement
and make significant financial decisions, including emptying the account,
without consulting the elderly account holder.
Mismanagement of Financial Affairs. Many seniors appoint an agent under a durable power of attorney to manage
some or all of their financial affairs. That agent has a legal fiduciary
duty to act in the best interests or his or her principal (i.e., the senior),
but some abusers unfortunately exploit their position, breach their duties,
and take advantage of seniors.
Financial elder abuse may not be obvious. Many abusers will establish long cons that are designed to slowly siphon
away funds and assets over a long period of time to avoid suspicion and
detection. Elderly loved ones may not realize anything is wrong until
all of their funds have been depleted. Our Valencia and Oxnard financial
elder abuse litigation attorneys can assess your situation and determine
whether legal action may be warranted.
Warning signs of financial elder abuse can include:
Missing money or possessions. If you notice that more than a few valuable items in an elderly loved
one’s residence have gone missing, and the loved one does not know
what happened to them, they may have been stolen.
Unusual spending habits. A senior has the right to use their financial resources how they like.
However, there may be cause for concern if an elderly loved one is suddenly
spending far more than they usually do or are opening up new credit cards.
They may be either purchasing items for an abuser or have been the victim
of a scam and are embarrassed to talk about their resulting financial
Mismanaged affairs. Missed bill payments, letters from angry creditors, and/or an especially
untidy home can all be signs that an elderly loved one is suffering from
neglect if there is a caregiver, family member, or agent under a durable
power of attorney that is supposed to be taking care of them.
Mood swings. If you notice an elderly loved one seems unusually anxious, upset, or
depressed, it may be worth investigating if they are suffering from some
form of abuse. Check to make sure that their caregiver or agent under
a durable power of attorney is appropriately managing their affairs. If
possible, try and ask your loved one if anything is wrong or if they have
been doing all of their usual activities, including socializing with friends
A mysterious and evasive new “friend.” The sudden appearance and entrenchment of a new individual in an elderly
loved one’s life can be a red flag, especially if they avoid members
of the loved one’s family or attempt to isolate the senior.