Unfortunately, senior citizens are easily capable of falling victim to financial exploitation in many different ways. Elders can be taken advantage of by their family members, caregivers, friends, and fiduciaries. Any elderly victim of financial exploitation should seek legal help from a proven California financial elder abuse attorney.
Doing so will help you learn more about your legal rights so that you can protect your loved one or yourself. Elder financial abuse is one of the terrible crimes in our society that occurs far too often. Strangers commit half of all senior financial exploitation crimes.
They are followed closely by:
Annually, these crimes cost senior citizens more than $3 billion.
According to the California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15600, elders (defined as anyone older than 65 years of age) and dependent adults are legally protected from various types of neglect and physical abuse.
Financial abuse of an elder or adult dependent is defined as a criminal act when an individual or entity does any of the following:
Also, it must be proven that the individual or entity accused of this crime knew or should have known that their conduct in question would likely have resulted in the harm of an elder or dependent adult. It’s essential to note that the taking of an elder’s property is not exclusive to physically removing an object from their possession. The law expands the definition of financial abuse to include the theft of any property right, which includes donative transfer, testamentary bequest, and by means of agreement.
This statue holds true regardless of whether the property in question is owned directly by the elder or dependent adult or their representative. For context, theft can include both real and personal property. Real property is defined as a tangible object, such as land and real estate. Personal property is somewhat a flexible term and can include stocks, jewels, money, etc. Elder abuse is an alarming crime that should be taken seriously.
Here are comparative statistics showcasing the disturbing trend in financial elder abuse crimes in California and across the United States.
Our client was stopped at a two-way stop sign before proceeding into an intersection where he was struck by a police cruiser traveling 70 mph, resulting in serious injuries.– Brian Beecher
Senior citizens are regrettably not always treated with the respect they deserve. Because of their advanced age, criminals see an opportunity to take advantage of them financially through schemes and fraud. Common elder abuse methods include tricking an elderly person into purchasing a product, misleading them into believing that they have won some sort of grand prize, or posing as their primary caretaker to illegally gain access to their property.
The exploitation of seniors relating to consumer fraud and trickery is somewhat reliant on the truth that many senior citizens were raised in a world where a person’s handshake or word was just as trustworthy as a written contract. This is not the world we live in today.
For elders and many younger adults, identifying fraud can be extremely difficult when it’s happening. When your savings have been completely depleted or a large check you were promised bounces, you need to contact a California elder abuse attorney to help you recover these losses.
Below, you can find many examples of fraud in which seniors are routinely targeted and may be challenging to realize. If you are noticing similar patterns among family members, assisted living staff, and friends, then you should reach out to a California financial elder abuse attorney immediately.
There are two main types of elder abuse: physical and emotional elder abuse and financial elder abuse. Below are descriptions of each type of elder abuse and what each crime entails.
This form of elder abuse is both disturbing and fairly prevalent in California and throughout the United States. Physical Elder abuse includes violent contact with the victim. Some examples could be punching, slapping, or hitting. It can also involve being physically restrained violently or too tightly.
Emotional elder abuse involves non-violent forms of abuse. This type of abuse doesn’t present with any visual indication. Still, it can be just as devastating as other types of abuse. Emotional abuse can include name-calling, screaming, preventing someone from seeing their friends, or even completely ignoring the victim.
Any form of elder abuse is a direct attack on the fabric of our society. A California elder abuse injury attorney can help you accomplish your legal objectives while ensuring that you or a loved one is adequately protected and cared for.
There are a wide variety of schemes fraudsters and scam artists employ to take advantage of a senior’s finances. An elder abuse attorney will diligently and aggressively locate evidence to prove financial abuse committed by fiduciaries, family members, and caregivers.
Criminals who illegally obtain access to valuable personal property, sensitive information, and financial accounts can commit any of the following crimes:
Financial elder abuse can also include obtaining access to a deed or title to a property after forging a signature. Without a senior’s consent or knowledge, all of the following activities are illegal.
The California Legislature indicated that dependent adults and senior citizens may be vulnerable to neglect, abandonment, and abuse and that the state has an obligation to protect these people. The Legislature also recognized that the state would promote and foster community services for the personal, social, and economic well-being of its elderly citizens to protect these people according to the guidelines listed in the California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 15600.
This type of support is beneficial because these crimes are often committed by some of the largest financial institutions in the United States. Neglecting to take the possibility of this issue seriously can result in a senior’s power of attorney and will being changed, jewelry and family heirlooms being sold for far less of their original value, property being sold to another party, and unnecessarily expensive items being bought.
The California Legislature has stated that elder abuse and other crimes against senior citizens require special prosecution because these individuals may be mentally and physically unable to protect themselves from abusers. To deter this type of criminal behavior, the California Legislature has authorized California Penal Code section 368(c) to make elder abuse a crime with severe consequences. If convicted, a perpetrator can be charged with a misdemeanor elder abuse conviction and face up to 364 days in county jail. However, if charged with a felony conviction, the perpetrator can face harsher punishment.
California Penal Code section 368(c) states that anyone who willfully commits or allows unjustified mental and physical pain towards a senior citizen is guilty of elder abuse. This clause also covers dependent adults who are unable to care for themselves mentally or physically. In California, a person can be criminally liable for elder abuse, depending on their relationship with the senior. If you aren’t a custodian or caregiver of the elderly adult, then your behavior must be proved to have been intentional or willful.
This means that you must have purposefully or intentionally injured a senior citizen. If you are a custodian or caregiver of an elderly person, such as an assisted living care employee, then your behavior must be proved to have been either criminally negligent or willful. Failing to follow the ethical and basic standards of care and treatment for elderly patients can be defined as a criminally negligent act.
Elder abuse is a common and shocking crime in our society. Fortunately, in many cases, you can recover your losses and bring those responsible for the injuries or abuse to account. If you or a loved one in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Francisco, Sacramento, Sherman Oaks, San Jose, Riverside, San Diego, or anywhere else in California are the victim of an injury elder abuse, our legal team from Arash Law headed by Arash Khorsandi Esq. is standing by to help. Our legal team investigates caregiver and assisted care facility hiring practices, patient medical records, ethical standards of care, staffing levels, organization training procedures, and much more.
We also conduct an in-depth examination to identify evidence of neglect, abuse, wrongdoing, and other misconduct. We are highly-experienced in discovering both clear and subtle signs of abuse and nursing home neglect. Call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.