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Recognizing Elder Abuse Before a Bank Account Is Emptied

  • Dec 20 2013
  • Gilleon Law Firm

Elsie Brooks reached the age of 72 and did not want the burden of managing her finances anymore. She sold her mobile home and moved in with her daughter and granddaughter in Monterey, California. Brooks’ daughter and granddaughter abandoned her and stole all her assets — jewelry and furniture totaling $90,000. Criminal charges, including elder financial abuse, were entered against the two perpetrators.

California is ripe for elder financial abuse

California is reportedly the most popular retirement destination in the United States. In 2006, there were over 3.9 million residents over the age of 65 living in California and according to the 2010 census, more than 4.2 million persons age 65 and older have made California their home. It is estimated that the number of senior citizens in the state may reach close to 9 million by 2020.

Becoming aware of the indicators

It is crucial to recognize the signs of elder financial abuse before your loved one’s estate is emptied out. While bank officials might be able to discern fraudulent financial activity, family members must also be vigilant enough to recognize indicators of elderly abuse.

Here is a list of some of the most common signs of elder abuse:

  • New “best friends”
  • Withdrawals or transfers of money that cannot be explained
  • Unpaid bills and eviction notices
  • Missing property
  • Physical care not commensurate with the size of the elderly person’s assets
  • New or amended legal documents, such as powers of attorney, suddenly emerge
  • Signatures on checks and other documents do not match
  • Documents and bank statements no longer arrive at the senior citizen’s address
  • Caregiver suddenly expressing extraordinary interest in an elderly person’s finances
  • Major changes in financial arrangements that cannot be explained by the elder

The elderly are easy targets for family members, criminals and business scam artists. While elderly people have 70 percent of the wealth, they are often weak in knowledge about their own accounts. If you worry that someone is manipulating your parent’s or grandparent’s finances, contact our California elder abuse attorney for a free consultation.


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