Financial Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse

What is Financial Elder Abuse under California Law?

Financial elder abuse is broadly defined in California. It occurs whenever a person or business does any of the following:

  • Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains or retains, any interest in real or personal property, for a wrongful use, or with intent to defraud or both; or
  • Assists in doing any of the above described acts; or
  • Does any of the above described acts through “undue influence” which, generally speaking, means excessive persuasion that causes the elder to act or not act by overcoming the elder’s free will.

Who might commit Financial Elder Abuse against our senior citizens?

Our senior citizens often are targeted and victimized by the very people who should be helping them. These people include those who are closest to them, including family members and friends. But there also are other scammers who are not so obvious, such as:

  • Caregivers;
  • Banks and other financial institutions;
  • Investment counselors;
  • Real estate agents and brokers;
  • Insurance agents and agencies; or
  • Anyone else who has access to a senior’s finances, financial information, or personal information.

Frequently, our seniors are victimized precisely because they are trusting and loving, but easily confused or are unfamiliar with what is and is not possible. They are promised a way to not be a burden on their loved ones, or presented with a plan to quickly increase their assets so they can leave more to their families when they pass. This makes them easy prey for unscrupulous individuals or businesses. They do not recognize the fraud as it is happening, and by the time they see the result it is too late.

How does Allen Saltzman, LLP differ from other financial elder abuse attorneys?

Financial elder abuse is entirely different from other forms of elder and dependent adult abuse. It is not based on the personal injury to the victim; it is based on the victim’s financial damage, which may occur either with or without actual physical injury.

Several attorneys who advertise expertise in elder abuse litigation also say they practice financial elder abuse litigation. But you should seek out attorneys who have done the in-depth research and analysis necessary to understand the nuances and litigation opportunities in this little used area of the law. Allen Saltzman, LLP are those attorneys.