Trust & Probate Litigation Attorney

Financial Elder Abuse

by | Nov 21, 2021

Unfortunately, unscrupulous actors take advantage of seniors. Predatory people see easy targets who are vulnerable to undue influence, fraud, and even outright coercion. Sadly, as America’s population ages, these concerns will arise with increasing frequency.

Challenges with Confronting Financial Elder Abuse

Often, seniors are uncomfortable with their own declining abilities and will resist admitting when they have been taken advantage of financially. This can be especially true when the abuser is a relative or close friend who would be natural to trust . A senior who has been targeted for abuse might also be unaware of what their rights actually are. In addition, other relatives may suspect such abuse, but may be hesitant to take any action against their own relatives.

Understanding What Financial Elder Abuse Is

Although financial elder abuse can be charged as a crime, the vast majority of financial elder abuse matters are resolved without criminal charges. Most people simply want the money to be returned and the senior protected against further abuses, and these can be accomplished purely through civil court proceedings. Civil penalties mostly prioritize returning the stolen assets along, compensation for any loss in value to the asset caused by the perpetrator, return of any profits the perpetrator made with the property, along with appropriate interest. In some circumstances, a court can award double damages, treble damages, and punitive damages. In addition, perpetrators can be required to pay the opposing party’s attorney fees and costs. Even more, a person who commits financial elder abuse can also be excluded from recovering anything from the senior’s estate.

The Legal Remedies for Financial Elder Abuse

Although financial elder abuse can be charged as a crime, the vast majority of financial elder abuse matters are resolved without criminal charges. Most people simply want the money to be returned and the senior protected against further abuses, and these can be accomplished purely through civil court proceedings. Civil penalties mostly prioritize returning the stolen assets along, compensation for any loss in value to the asset caused by the perpetrator, return of any profits the perpetrator made with the property, along with appropriate interest. In some circumstances, a court can award double damages, treble damages, and punitive damages. In addition, perpetrators can be required to pay the opposing party’s attorney fees and costs. Even more, a person who commits financial elder abuse can also be excluded from recovering anything from the senior’s estate.

As one might imagine, a perpetrator’s risk of significant losses frequently results in financial elder abuse cases being settled outside of court, sometimes rather quickly. This can be highly desirable to secure the senior’s finances as quickly as possible.

Warning Signs of Financial Elder Abuse

If you are concerned that your senior relative might have been a victim of financial elder abuse, some warning signs to look out for include unexpectedly low funds in financial accounts, excessive cash withdrawals or credit card use, missing checks, bills piling up unpaid, valuable personal property items going missing from the senior’s home, and a noticeable change in the senior’s mood and demeanor.

Contact an Experienced Litigation Team

Our experienced team of attorneys brings a depth of experience which you can leverage to help resolve your concerns. We strive to provide effective, practical, and timely results. We hope to resolve issues before resorting to litigation, if at all possible, but when litigation becomes necessary, we will wield the sword of justice to protect your interests and defend your loved one’s legacy.

Every situation is unique, and it is best to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.

Contact us today by calling (888) 308-1261 to schedule your consultation.

DAVID J. HALLSTROM, ESQ.
Locations Throughout Southern California and the Central Coast
privacy policy
© 2022 David J. Hallstrom, Esq. All rights reserved.
Defending Your Loved One's Legacy