San Diego Financial Elder Abuse Lawyer | CA

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California Financial Elder Abuse Attorney

What is Financial Elder Abuse?

Unfortunately, elderly individuals are at an increased risk for many types of neglect and abuse, including financial abuse. Elder financial abuse applies to anyone over the age of 65 in California. The individual does not need to have any sort of diminished mental capacity, as any form of financial abuse against an elder is actionable under California law. Financial abuse can take many forms and is not limited to an elder simply giving money away to a perpetrator that is using them. Financial elder abuse can include a wide range of scenarios, from an elder unknowingly signing their rights to their property away, or even an elder being coerced into making bad investments.

Elder financial abuse is a serious problem that happens often as a result of many elderly individuals having mental impairments or lapses of judgment that often come with old age. The perpetrators then use this against the elderly individual and prey on them for their money. Taking finances from an elderly individual or deceiving them for one’s financial benefits is a crime and needs to be dealt with.

If you suspect that a loved one has been subjected to any kind of elder financial abuse contact Mr. Bryant and his team of San Diego elder abuse lawyers today! Time is of the essence when it comes to financial abuse, because as more time passes, more time is allotted to the perpetrator to transfer assets and cover their tracks to prevent the finances from being fully recovered. Contact Attorney Bryant today for a free case evaluation to prevent further losses and recover assets before it is too late.

How is an Elder Coerced into Being Abused Financially?

Not all elder abuse is the result of a diminished mental capacity; however that is certainly part of it. Elder abuse can result from an individual gaining the trust of an elderly individual, only to financially exploit them in the end. The trust can be obtained from creating a relationship of some sort. Some qualities of the elderly that make them more susceptible to elder abuse include but are not limited to the following:

  • Isolated
  • Diminished Mental Capacity, such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia
  • Disability Whether it be Mental or Physical
  • Recently Experienced the Loss of a Close Loved One, such as a Spouse
  • Unfamiliar with How to Handle their Finances and Money or are Incapable of Properly Doing so
  • Close Individuals to the Elderly Individual that Have Financial Trouble Themselves

Who Perpetrates Financial Elder Abuse?

Sadly, in most cases the abuser is someone the elderly person or their family trusted. They may be a caretaker, family member, friend, attorney, stockbroker, financial advisor, insurance agent or any other person who gains access to the elder’s assets, or who persuades the elder to make an improper investment or take out an unsuitable mortgage. Financial elder abuse generally occurs after a relationship has been created between an elderly individual and the perpetrator. This relationship can create a false sense of trust or even friendship between the vulnerable elder and the abuser. However, sometimes even unfamiliar individuals can perpetrate elder abuse as those lacking mental capacity or good judgement, such as an elder suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, can easily and unknowingly be tricked or scammed without raising any alarms. ​ However, most abusers can be stopped by taking prompt legal action.

Perpetrators of elder abuse may have the following characteristics:

  • They feel as though they are not being compensated enough for their care of the elderly individual.
  • They fear that their inheritance is going to be used up by the elder for medical care.
  • They are envious or outraged and feel as though they should be getting a different inheritance than the originally planned one.
  • They are negative in regards to other members of the family and believe that those family members’ should be shorted or cut out of any inheritance.
  • They are an individual who struggles financially due to drinking, drugs, or gambling and does not mind whether they make money honestly or not.

The perpetrators of elder abuse may also harbor other characteristics that enable them to successfully prey on the weak and vulnerable elderly. They also use deceptive tactics to gain an elder’s trust and ultimately take advantage of them. Such characteristics or tendencies of the perpetrator(s) include:

  • The perpetrator may look through obituaries to find elders that have recently lost a loved one, or they may go through neighborhoods searching for individuals that are isolated and alone.
  • The perpetrator may say that they love the elder to gain their confidence and manipulate them.
  • The perpetrator may isolate the elder from other family members.
  • The perpetrator may turn the elder against other family members by falsely telling the elder that other family members want to put the elder in a nursing home, or that other family members want to take the elder’s money.
  • The perpetrator may move around from community to community or from job to job in order to remain undetected.
  • The perpetrator may use a position of trust to take advantage of the elder, such as selling the elder an improper insurance product or investment.
  • The perpetrator may use unfair business practices to trick the elder.
  • The perpetrator may charge much higher than the reasonable value of a certain good or service that the elder needs, or is tricked into believing they need.

What Constitutes Financial Elder Abuse?

Financial elder abuse is the exploitation of an elder’s finances by a perpetrator who uses deceit and an elder’s cognitive impairment against them. Financial elder abuse is a very serious societal problem and the perpetrators purposely prey on elders, as their diminished mental capacity often allows perpetrators to get away with it. Some forms of financial elder abuse that Attorney Bryant can successfully deal with include but are not limited to the following:

  • Loss of Real Estate:​ ​Usually, the deed is put in the name of the abuser, or the abuser is added to the deed.
  • Loss of Stocks/Investments/Bank Accounts: ​By adding the abuser to the accounts, or as beneficiary of the accounts.
  • Intentionally Bad Investment Advice from a Financial Professional: ​Persuading the elder to buy an improper annuity, high-risk stock, improper insurance product, or unsuitable investment so the insurance or financial professional can get a large commission.
  • Mortgage Loan Fraud: ​Convincing the elder to take out a home loan with overly high fees / interest / penalties, or unaffordable payments. Similarly, convincing the elder to obtain an unnecessary or inappropriate reverse mortgage.
  • Medical Care/Service Fraud​: An elder is charged exorbitant prices for medical care or services that they need, or they are charged for care they never received.
  • Scams: ​There are many kinds of scams that an elderly individual is susceptible to, especially nowadays with the level of connectivity that comes with the internet and phones. Such scams may include but are not limited to: fake lotteries or sweepstakes, fake messages to bail a family member out of jail, fake charitable organizations, telemarketing scams, utility scams, and repairman scams.

Determining Who is Responsible for Elder Abuse

Attorney Bryant will conduct an immediate investigation to determine which persons are potentially responsible for the loss:

  • Stolen real estate or investments returned to the elder (where possible)
  • The abuser’s name removed from deeds and/or accounts
  • The abuser and any others responsible for the elder’s financial losses
  • Any other legal remedies necessary to restore the elder’s financial status

What are the Signs of Financial Elder Abuse?

Financial abuse against an elder is sometimes hard to recognize, and can go unnoticed. If you have a loved one that is incapable of properly handling their money, it is important to recognize this and take action so that perpetrators cannot get their hands on their finances. One way to combat financial elder abuse is to become a conservator or guardian over an elder that is deemed incompetent.

What is a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances. ​A conservator simply means that one has obtained the right to take control of the elderly persons (i.e. the conservatee) finances and/or medical and personal care.. It is difficult to be a conservator; however, if your loved one shows clear signs that they are unable to handle their finances or resist fraud or undue influence, then a conservator of the estate may be appointed. If the elder is unable to properly provide for his or her own personal needs for physical health, food, clothing , or shelter, then a conservator of the person may be obtained. Priority for being appointed conservator is first given to a spouse, then to siblings and children. This way, the money is secure and no assets will be exploited should the elder come into contact with an individual who desires to take advantage of them.

An elder’s money can also be managed by a trusted lawyer or even family member without assuming the position of a conservator to keep an eye on an elder’s assets without fully taking control. Still, in some cases, an elder who is competent enough to handle their money is taken advantage of, as they are lied to and tricked by an experienced and skilled perpetrator. In these cases, the trail leading to the perpetrator is difficult but not always impossible to notice. The following are indicators that a loved one may be getting taken advantage of:

● Canceled checks or bank statements that go to the perpetrator’s home

● Large bank withdrawals or transfers between different accounts that have no explanation or reason

● Eviction notices, evidence of unpaid bills or utilities being discontinued due to nonpayment

● The perpetrator acts as though they and the elder are in a relationship, or have a friendship between them, even if they hardly know each other

● The elderly individual is taken care of substandardly, even though they should be able to afford better

● There are ATM withdrawals the elderly person did not or simply could not have made, or other withdrawals

● The elderly person is coerced into signing powers of attorney or other legal documents that they had little to no understanding of

● The perpetrator presents an obsessive level of interest when it comes to the elder’s expenditures

● Person whom the elder barely knows are added to the elder’s bank accounts

● The elder is missing belongings and/or property with no clear explanation

● Forgeries are found upon legal documents or checks

● Financial arrangements are vague and have little to no paper trail or documentation

● The explanations by the perpetrator in regards to the elder’s finances do not add up to be plausible or in the elder’s best interest, or the story is simply fabricated

● The elderly individual is completely unaware or lacking key knowledge of their current financial situation

What Should I Do if I Suspect Elder Financial Abuse?

Given that financial elder abuse is rarely prosecuted by criminal authorities, the first thing to do upon figuring out that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse is to reach out to an experienced, knowledge elder law litigation attorney. Every moment counts when it comes to finances being stolen and it is important to react quickly if one is to have any chance at recovering them. Immediately contact Attorney Joel Bryant and his team today so that investigations into the abuse can begin immediately.

Attorney Bryant is the California Elder Abuse Attorney, and he and his team will assist you in navigating the legal process to get the justice that you and your loved one deserve and hold the perpetrator responsible for their actions.

Contact an Experienced Financial Elder Abuse Lawyer Today!

If your loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse, Joel Bryant and his experienced legal team can help you. His firm has successfully handled many cases where someone has taken unfair financial advantage of an elderly person by lying to them, unduly influencing them, pretending concern/love/friendship, pressuring them or exploiting the elder’s trust, cognitive impairment, or lack of mental capacity. Time is of the essence when it comes to recovering your loved one’s assets and bringing justice upon the perpetrators, so call today for a free case evaluation. The quicker you take action now, the more likely that the assets taken from your loved one will be rightfully returned, and that justice is brought upon the perpetrator!

Video Transcription

“I handle all types of serious financial elder abuse cases. My cases involve loss of real estate. For example, a situation where an elder unwittingly signs a quitclaim deed or a grant deed, which gives title to their own property to someone else. Those cases may involve a person who gets a power of attorney from an elder. Many times, the elder doesn’t even know what they’ve signed, and the person uses that power of attorney to go into the elder’s bank accounts and investment accounts and take all their property. Other financial elder abuse cases may involve bad investment advice. And a good example of this is I’ve seen some financial professionals will sell elders’ investments that they don’t need or cannot afford. In the financial elder abuse arena, it’s particularly important that if a person suspects their loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse, to contact me as soon as possible. This is important because, in financial elder abuse cases, time is of the essence. We need to take timely action so that we can recover the elder’s assets. The longer a person waits to contact my firm regarding a financial elder abuse case, the longer the elder abuser has to spend, transfer, or hide the assets they improperly obtained from the elder.”


Serious Financial Elder Abuse Cases Handled

Loss of Real Estate

Usually, the deed is put in the name of the abuser, or the abuser is added to the deed.

Loss of Stocks / Investments

By adding the abuser to the accounts.

Intentionally Bad Investment Advice by Financial Professional

Persuading the elder to buy a too-long annuity, high-risk stock, unneeded insurance, or other unsuitable investment so the professional can get a commission.

Mortgage Loan Fraud

Convincing the elder to take out a home loan with overly high fees / interest / penalties, or unaffordable payments. Similarly, convincing the elder to obtain an unnecessary or inappropriate reverse mortgage.

Common Types of Abusers

Sadly, in most cases the abuser is someone the elderly person or their family trusted. They may be a caretaker, family member, friend, attorney, stockbroker, or any other person who gains access to the elder's assets, or who persuades the elder to make an improper investment or take out an unsuitable mortgage. However, all of these abusers can be stopped by taking prompt legal action.

Contact Attorney Joel R. Bryant
Immediately to Protect Assets

It is extremely important to contact an attorney who is experienced in stopping financial elder abuse as soon as the wrongdoing is discovered in order to minimize the harm, and increase the likelihood of a recovery.

I will conduct an immediate investigation to determine
which persons are potentially responsible for the loss

  • Stolen real estate or investments returned to the elder (where possible).
  • The abuser's name removed from deeds and/or accounts.
  • The abuser and any another responsible persons to pay for the elder's financial losses.
  • Any other legal remedies necessary to restore the elder's financial position.

I offer a no-charge telephone consultation and accept financial abuse cases either on contingency or hourly, depending on the situation. You will receive a complete explanation of my services, fees, and related costs (such as court filing fees) in a written agreement for you to review and sign before you hire me. For more information or an appointment, please call me at (619) 239-7900 for a free legal consultation.

“Joel and his team were the help I needed to approach the nursing home that didn’t take good care of my grandmother. With Joel’s help, my grandmother was fairly compensated for the injuries she suffered as a result of the nursing home’s neglect and abuse.”

Andrea C.

“When one of the most tragic events happened in my life, Joel Bryant and Jason Julius were there for me when I needed someone the most. They both were very professional, honest, compassionate, and supportive."

Brent R.

“Joel was amazingly accessible, by phone, email and often, in person, and still is. He is a professional with an understanding heart, and a sense of humor. I still feel very fortunate to have had him on my side.”

Michelle B.
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