How Can You Identify Financial Elder Abuse?
An elder abuse attorney provides assistance to seniors and to their families after any type of elder abuse occurs. Unfortunately, elder abuse is far too common. There are many different kinds of abuse which affect seniors, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. While the types of abuse that cause injuries are often a primary concern in abuse prevention efforts, there is also another type of behavior that can affect the elderly and cause them and their families significant harm: financial elder abuse.
Financial elder abuse can result in a vulnerable senior losing out on the rewards of a lifetime of hard work if the senior’s financial security is affected. When money or property is taken from a senior, rightful heirs also lose out.
Scams that result in the loss of money or property can also have health effects as well. Seniors could face depression or anxiety as a result of being scammed out of funds, which can manifest in physical symptoms. If the financial abuse is serious enough, a senior could also be left without needed funds to pay for medications and other essential items that the victim requires.
Financial elder abuse, like all types of elder abuse, needs to be reported and addressed using appropriate legal means. An elder abuse attorney can provide assistance to seniors and their families in understanding their rights and pursuing elder abuse claims. Call Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to find out more about options for responding to financial elder abuse.
What is Financial Elder Abuse?
Money Crashers explains the serious problem of financial elder abuse. Financial elder abuse is defined as “theft or mismanagement of an elderly person’s funds, real estate, investments, or personal property.”
Financial abuse of seniors can be perpetrated by caretakers, including home health aides or even family or friends who provide care. Strangers can also cause seniors to become involved in scams that undermine their financial security and that cost them money and property.
Financial elder abuse can be a one-time incident, such as when a scammer gets a senior to write a big check or a caregiver steals something out of the home of a senior. Financial elder abuse can also continue on over a long period of time, and can even culminate in a senior being coerced or tricked into changing his or her estate plan so the effects of the abuse last after death.
What are the Signs of Financial Elder Abuse?
Financial elder abuse can take the form of using threats or violence to coerce a senior to give money or property or to convince a senior to change his or her will. Taking money out of a senior’s accounts (including draining jointly-held accounts); making continual demands for money; stealing property; and mismanagement of assets are all examples of financial elder abuse.
There are a number of possible red flags which could suggest that abuse is occurring. Some of the signs of financial elder abuse to watch out for include:
- Money missing from the financial accounts of a senior.
- Credit cards belonging to a senior being used in unusual ways, such as a sudden increase in card use.
- Lack of food in the home, unpaid bills, or letters from collections agencies, all of which can suggest a senior is suddenly struggling for funds.
- Property or possessions suddenly disappearing.
- Changes in the mood or demeanor of an elderly person.
Seniors may not speak up if they are victimized by abuse. If you are an older person who was harmed by a scammer or scammed by a caregiver, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to get appropriate legal help. If you are the family member or friend of a senior and you notice any of these red flags, you should also get help from an elder law attorney to find out how to investigate possible financial abuse and what your options are for pursuing legal remedies.
Getting Help from An Orange County Elder Abuse Attorney
An Orange County elder abuse attorney can provide invaluable assistance in understanding when financial elder abuse occurs and in taking appropriate action to respond to the abuse and try to recover lost funds. To find out more about the ways in which Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can assist you in responding to financial elder abuse, give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online today to speak with a member of our legal team.
We are committed to helping vulnerable seniors and their families to recover appropriate compensation for financial abuse and all other types of abusive or wrongful actions. Call now to find out more about the personalized help we can provide to you.