Financial Elder Abuse
The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse has provided numerous examples of how financial abuse against elders can occur. There are many obvious examples, such as taking money or property from an elderly person without their consent, recommending inappropriate investments to earn commissions, or forging their signature on official documents. There are also a variety of scams designed to target elderly persons, including telemarketing programs that use coercion and deception to deceive elders, as well as door-to-door scams. Perhaps the most difficult type of financial abuse to identify, however, involves acts of manipulation and undue influence. In these scenarios, the perpetrator attempts to gain the elderly individual’s confidence and trust through nefarious means, such as pretending to be their best advocate, spending lots of time with the elder, or giving them gifts to make it seem like they have the elder’s best interests in mind. An example of this type of undue influence would be promising an elderly person that they will receive lifelong assistance and care in exchange for their money or property and then failing to make good on that promise.
An additional complex aspect of financial abuse against elders involves the perpetrators. Although there are many instances in which it is an outsider or someone not related to the elder, such as nursing aids, investment advisors, stockbrokers, counselors, or acquaintances, there are just as many instances in which the person committing the abuse or deception is a family member. These individuals often justify their conduct by claiming that they are taking what they believe is rightfully their inheritance property, or that the elderly individual owes it to them for events or situations that may have occurred in the family’s history.
California provides legal protections and avenues of recourse to elders who have suffered harm as a result of financial abuse through a specific law dedicated to protecting our older population from this predatory act. To recover on a claim for financial elder abuse, the plaintiff must show that the defendant took, appropriated, hid, obtained, or retained the victim’s property, or that they assisted someone else in committing these acts, and the defendant did so with the intent to defraud or unduly influence the plaintiff. The law also requires that the victim be at least 65 years old or older and that the plaintiff can show that they suffered actual harm as a result of the defendant’s actions. If the financial elder abuse involved securities, such as an investment broker who takes advantage of an elderly individual, the plaintiff can bring a claim seeking compensation for the broker’s failure to use the highest level of care in advising the plaintiff or in managing their investment accounts. Damages would amount to the difference between the value of the accounts as they are and their projected value without the financial elder abuse.Retain a Knowledgeable Securities Attorney in Southern California
At the Law Office of Steve A. Buchwalter, we pride ourselves on helping investors and other individuals who have suffered financial harm as a result of undue influence or a greedy broker. We know how to get the justice and remedies that you deserve. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about your legal rights. Los Angeles attorney Steve A. Buchwalter also serves elderly individuals and their families in Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties. Call us now at 818-501-8987 or contact us online to set up an appointment with a broker fraud lawyer.