Elder Financial Abuse in California

elder financial abuse

Unfortunately, there are people in this world that will take advantage of the elderly.

It’s not unusual to see professionals, caregivers, or even relatives unlawfully take money or property from elders.  In addition to the unlawful taking of money or property, elder abuse can also include the neglect, exploitation or the “painful or harmful” mistreatment of anyone who is 65 or older by such actions as physical violence, psychological abuse, isolation, abandonment, abduction, false imprisonment or neglect.

Because the elderly are generally considered less able to protect themselves against such abuse, special laws have been enacted to prevent elder abuse – harming or taking advantage of a person who is 65 or over.

In California, there are very specific statutes that provide remedies for financial abuse of an elder or dependent person. Those statutes allow for the recovery of compensatory damages, costs, attorney’s fees, and in some cases, punitive damages.

Under the definition of “financial abuse,” as stated in the California statute, a person, or entity, commits financial abuse when they take, secrete, appropriate, obtain, or retain real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud.

In reality, there are many ways people take advantage of the elderly. Below are some of the common methods used.

  • Taking property without permission.
  • Deceiving an elderly person to gain property or a financial advantage. For example, telling a person the roof needs to be replaced when it doesn’t need to be replaced.
  • Forcing a person to sign a power of attorney for financial affairs by fraud or force.
  • Using undue influence or fraud to force a change in a will, trust, deed, or estate plan.
  • Borrowing money repeatedly without paying it back.
  • Writing checks, using credit cards, or diverting funds without permission.

These are only some of the ways that people take advantage of the elderly. If you, or a loved one, have been the victim of physical or financial abuse, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Contact Doyle Quane Freeman

If you need help with an elder financial abuse matter, contact a Doyle Quane Freeman attorney today.

Contact Doyle Quane Freeman