The financial abuse of elderly individuals is becoming increasingly prevalent. There are numerous ways in which an elderly person can experience financial abuse.
Commonly, an elderly adult will experience financial abuse from a family member whom the elder adult depends upon leaving him or her susceptible to isolation, undue influence and victimization.
Abuse can be experienced through the misuse of authority granted under a Power of Attorney, appropriation or theft of an older adult’s financial assets, sharing of an elderly adult’s home without contributing to, or sharing in, expenses, transfer of an elderly adult’s property into joint assets, involuntary monetary gifts, forgery, predatory marriage, ATM fraud, as well as pressuring an older person to execute documents that he or she does not have the capacity to understand, as well as others.
Once an elderly adult’s family or friends discover financial abuse there are two types of recourse available; one is through the civil courts or through the Elder Abuse unit of the local police department and possibly the criminal courts. In order to be successful in criminal court, all elements of a charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If pursued in civil court, there are a number of orders that a court can make, including, ordering the removal of an attorney under a Power of Attorney, ordering the repayment of improperly taken money, ordering an accounting of an elderly adults assets. If you are concerned that you are experiencing elder abuse or are a family member concerned that an elderly adult is being financially abused, please contact our office.
Initial consultations are free of charge.