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Financial Elder Abuse

San Diego Financial Elder Abuse Attorney

Legal Guidance for Elderly People & Their Families in Los Angeles & Throughout Southern California 

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. Elder financial abuse can apply to anyone over the age of 65 in California. It can include a wide range of scenarios, from an elder unknowingly signing their rights to their property away, to being coerced or deceived into making bad investments.

Elder financial abuse is a serious problem related to the fact that many elderly individuals have mental impairments or lapses of judgment due to old age. Perpetrators use this against vulnerable seniors and prey on them for their money, property, stocks, or other assets.

If you suspect that a loved one has been subjected to any kind of elder financial abuse, contact Joel R. Bryant today. With years of experience and a practice devoted exclusively to elder law, our team can help you.


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How Is an Elder Coerced into Being Abused Financially?

Perpetrators of elder abuse may have the following characteristics:

  • They feel 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’s medical care.
  • They feel as though they should be getting a different inheritance than the originally planned one.
  • They feel negatively about other family members and believe that those family members’ inheritance should be limited.
  • They struggle financially due to drinking, drugs, or gambling and do not care whether they make money honestly.

The perpetrators of elder abuse may also harbor other characteristics that enable them to successfully prey on older adults. They also use deceptive tactics to gain an elder’s trust and ultimately take advantage of them. 

Such characteristics or tendencies include:

  • May look through obituaries or search neighborhoods to find elders who have recently lost a loved one
  • May say that they love the elder to gain their confidence and manipulate them
  • May isolate the elder from other family members
  • 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 take the elder’s money
  • May move around from community to community or from job to job to remain undetected
  • May use a position of trust to take advantage of the elder, such as selling the elder an improper insurance product or investment
  • May use unfair business practices to trick the elder
  • May charge much more than the reasonable value of a certain good or service

Types of Financial Elder Abuse

Financial elder abuse is a very serious societal problem. Some forms of financial elder abuse that Joel R. Bryant can successfully deal with include:

  • 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, payments, or penalties. Similarly, convincing the elder to obtain an unnecessary or inappropriate reverse mortgage.
  • Medical care/service fraud​: Charging exorbitant prices for medical care or services that an elder needs or charging for care they never received
  • Scams: ​Many kinds of scams target the elderly, especially with the level of connectivity that comes with the Internet and smartphones. Such scams may include fake lotteries or sweepstakes, fake messages to bail a family member out of jail, fake charitable organizations, telemarketing scams, utility scams, and repairman scams.

Where Do You Report Financial Abuse of the Elderly?

If you know, or even suspect, an elderly person is suffering from financial abuse, report it to the Adult Protective Services (APS). The state APS is a social service program that serves older adults and/or adults with disabilities who need help. However, if there is an urgent risk of harm to an elderly person, you should call 911 as soon as possible. 

What Is a Conservatorship in California?

A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person (“conservator”) to care for another adult (“conservatee”) who cannot care for themselves or manage their own finances. ​A conservator is someone who has obtained the right to take control of the conservatee’s finances and/or medical and personal care.

If your loved one shows signs of being 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 their own 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.

A trusted lawyer or family member can also keep an eye on the elder’s assets without fully taking control or assuming the position of conservator. Still, an elder who is competent enough to handle their money can be taken advantage of if they are lied to and tricked by a skilled perpetrator. In these cases, the trail leading to the perpetrator is difficult but not always impossible to notice.

Attorney Bryant will conduct an immediate investigation to determine which parties are potentially responsible for losses and make sure that:

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

Given that financial elder abuse is rarely prosecuted by criminal authorities, the first thing to do if you suspect abuse is to reach out to an experienced, knowledge attorney. It is important to react quickly to recover stolen finances. 

Contact an Experienced San Diego Financial Elder Abuse Lawyer

If your loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse, Joel R. Bryant can help you. Our firm has successfully handled many cases where someone has taken advantage of an elderly person by lying to them, unduly influencing them, pressuring them, or exploiting the elder’s cognitive impairment.

Time is of the essence, so call (619) 597-2577 today for more information and to schedule a free case evaluation with a lawyer. The quicker you take action, the more likely that the assets taken from your loved one will be rightfully returned, and that justice will be brought upon the perpetrator!

NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN Over 30 Years of Experience

Our Elder Litigation Team is dedicated to fighting for the elders' rights; we're committed to helping your family move forward. Call us today at (619) 597-2577 to get started.

Recognized for Excellence

  • AV Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Rating
  • Consumer Attorney San Diego Outstanding Trial Lawyer award
  • San Diego Attorney Journal
  • Super Lawyers
  • Attorney of the Month
  • Newsweek Leaders in Elder Law

What Sets Us Apart

  • The Elder Litigation Team
    From nursing home neglect to financial elder abuse to will & trust fraud, we provide full-service litigation for elders and their families.
  • Ready to Win in Probate or Civil Court
    With extensive experience in all three areas of elder litigation, our team is equally comfortable in either probate or civil court.
  • Compassionate Attorneys
    Our fair and ethical team is committed to protecting elders' rights; we'll be your dedicated advocate during this difficult time.
  • Experience Sets Us Apart
    With over 30 years in the legal field, our breadth of experience in elder law litigation gives us a competitive edge and perspective.

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Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our Elder Litigation Team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (619) 597-2577.

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