Newport Beach Financial Elder Abuse Attorney

Newport Beach Financial Elder Abuse Attorney
Newport Beach Financial Elder Abuse Attorney

Elder financial abuse can come from strangers, family members, friends, caregivers, and even fiduciaries. This crime impacts thousands of seniors every year. Those who exploit elders use their positions of trust, and a senior’s mental impairments or confusion, to commit financial fraud. Elder financial abuse refers to any person over 65 being taken advantage of. It can lead to a loss of funds, bad investments, or changes in a will or trust.

California law aims to protect seniors from financial abuse. If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder financial abuse, it is essential that you protect your rights with a financial elder abuse lawyer.

Protect Your Loved Ones from Elder Abuse

If you are being taken advantage of, or you see a loved one being exploited, you need the care and guidance of an experienced Newport Beach financial elder abuse attorney. You deserve a lawyer who can give your case individualized legal care and compassion.

At Ross Law Group, APC, our attorneys have more than 21 years of experience protecting elders from financial elder abuse. We have handled many financial elder abuse cases. We can help with cases involving breach of fiduciary duty, trustee removal, and elder abuse restraining orders. We can also aid in other legal services and protections for elders.

What Is Financial Elder Abuse?

Financial abuse can occur to anyone over the age of 65. A victim can also be a dependent adult whose money or assets were mismanaged, stolen, or misused. Under California law, financial abuse of an elder refers to:

  • Taking, appropriating, or retaining an elder’s property for misuse or to defraud the elder
  • Helping with taking, appropriating, or retaining an elder’s property for misuse or to defraud them
  • Taking, appropriating, or retaining an elder’s property through means of undue influence or helping an offender do so

An elder’s property refers to any real or personal property. Real property is any real estate, while personal property is the rest of an estate, including money and expensive assets. Taking this property includes both physically removing the property and removing their right to the property, even if the physical property is still in the elder’s possession.

What Is Undue Influence?

Undue influence refers to a person acting with negative intent who exerts their will over a vulnerable person, in this case, an elder. This person convinces or coerces the elderly person to provide them with money, assets, deeds, real estate, or other property. To establish the use of undue influence, specific behaviors must be established, including:

  • The Vulnerability of the Victim: Vulnerability includes impaired mental or physical function, emotional distress, isolation, dependency, age, injury, or disability. It will also be noted if the person taking advantage of them knew of this impairment or should have known.
  • The Authority of the Person Exerting Influence: Undue influence is done when the influencer has a position of trust or power over the victim. This includes having fiduciary status as a trustee, conservator, or executor; or as a family member, caregiver, healthcare provider, or other professional.
  • The Tactics Used by the Influencer: This includes isolating the victim from friends and family, controlling necessities of life, using intimidation or affection, or initiating changes to or the giving of assets or property with secrecy or haste.
  • The Result of the Undue Influence: This is proof that the actions of the influencer resulted in economic harm or a loss of advantage to the victim. It also proves that they increased the influencer’s economic value or advantage. The relationship between both parties is also considered when examining this result.

Whether undue influence is determined to have occurred will depend on these factors. To prove this in a financial elder abuse case requires the help of an elder abuse attorney.

Do I Need a Financial Elder Abuse Lawyer?

An attorney can advocate for your interests or those of a loved one. They can work to ensure that financial losses are properly compensated. An attorney can protect the rights of the elder who was taken advantage of and defend them in litigation. If a person is engaged in unsavory or illegal practices to defraud you or a loved one, it is unlikely that you can win a case against them without a skilled attorney. Your attorney can help you gather evidence to prove there was undue influence or that you suffered economic losses. They can give you the greatest chance of succeeding in the case.

Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

Financial abuse can sometimes be hard to see, as it is likely to occur over a longer timeframe through gradual persuasion or coercion. Signs that a loved one is being taken advantage of include:

  • Unexpected transactions in an elder’s banking account
  • Missing money or valuables
  • Sudden investments
  • Checks that the elder has signed but lacks their writing elsewhere
  • A caretaker or friend with too much interest in the elder’s finances
  • Large banking transactions made to unknown people or companies
  • Expensive gifts or donations to people or places the elder does not know well or has never given to
  • An unfamiliar party added to the elder’s will

Not all these are sure signs of financial abuse. Each of them can have reasonable explanations. It may be useful to talk with an elder financial abuse attorney if you are not sure if these occurrences are the result of abuse. An attorney can also help you determine your next legal steps.

Forms of Elder Financial Abuse

Financial abuse of an elder can present itself in many ways. These include:

  • Lost Assets or Money: If an elder is under undue influence, they may be pressured into putting a home’s deed, investment account, or bank account under the name of the influencer. They may also add them to the deed or account.
  • Bad Investments: Usually done as a breach of fiduciary duty by someone with financial authority, the elder is convinced to invest in bad stocks or given improper investment advice. The advisor can then make money from the investment or off commission.
  • Scams: Whether in person or, more commonly, over the phone, many scams are used to get personal and financial information. This includes health insurance fraud, telemarketing scams, lottery scams, fake charity fraud, and Social Security scams. The scammers may even pretend to be loved ones or family members.

Undue influence is the fault of someone in a position of authority and close to the elder. However, not all forms of elder financial abuse are so personal. Phone or email scams that target the elderly may also be considered elder financial abuse.

Preventing Financial Elder Abuse
  • Freeze the Accounts: A straightforward way to prevent further economic loss from banking accounts is to report suspected fraud and prevent further transactions. This can often be an ordeal, but it can also be effective to prevent further loss.
  • Report the Financial Abuse: There are several state and federal agencies that investigate suspected elder abuse and financial abuse, such as California’s Adult Protective Services or the Social Security Administration. Working with an attorney during this step can ensure the complaint has the right information. You can then determine additional legal protective measures.
  • File an Elder Financial Abuse Restraining Order: If there is a specific individual who has inflicted financial abuse, and you know who this person is, you may request a restraining order. Those aged 65 or older who are being physically, financially, or emotionally abused or who are being neglected or isolated can request an Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order.
  • When you work with an attorney, they can also determine what paths are available to you for claiming compensation.

    Proving Financial Abuse

    It can be difficult to prove financial abuse of elders. It can be particularly challenging when the person exerting influence provides seemingly legitimate reasons for the financial abuse. Other difficulties can arise if the elder in question is unable to provide testimony. In California, to prove financial elder abuse, you must prove:

    • The person financially abused was 65 or older.
    • The alleged influencer or abuser took, appropriated, or retained the elder’s property.
    • The influencer or abuser knew or should have known that this was harmful to the elder.

    The ideal way to get the necessary evidence is by working with an attorney who has experience with elder financial fraud and abuse. When you work with an experienced professional, they can know the ideal avenues to pursue. They can also determine how to keep your loved one safe during and after the case.

    Ross Law Group, APC: Your Newport Beach Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys

    Under California law, elders and dependent adults are protected from financial abuse. There are ways you can recover economic and property damages under the law. If you or a loved one has suffered undue influence, economic losses, or other forms of elder financial abuse, you need to take the legal steps necessary to protect yourself and your family. If you need legal representation to regain compensation for the losses you suffered, contact the attorneys at Ross Law Group, APC. We can offer you the counsel you need and ensure that you are taken care of.

    Practice Areas

    Trust & Estate Litigation
    Trust &
    Estate Litigation


    Contact Us Today

    Fields Marked With An “*” Are Required
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.