5 Common Forms Of Financial Exploitation Of A Vulnerable Adult
My law firm in Phoenix, Joy Garvey, PLLC, assists vulnerable adults — including senior citizens — who have been targeted for financial or property-related exploitation and abuse.
The facts of your case may fit one of the following five common areas of vulnerability or methods of exploitation. (Note that “elder” as mentioned in these examples may also be replaced by “person with disabilities”). I am prepared to help prevent or fight against these and other varieties of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult (you or your family member).
5 Areas Of Vulnerability
1. Exploitation of the elder’s assets: Someone close to the victim — a close family member, housemate, neighbor or caregiver — may take advantage of the elder’s assets. Common ways include persuading the elder to put the exploiter’s name on a bank account, car title or house title. The exploiter may remove jewelry and other valuables from the elder’s home, perhaps claiming intent to protect those assets.
2. Coercion to buy or give inappropriately: A relative stranger — perhaps an insurance sales agent, financial investments adviser or representative of a religious organization — may trick or coerce the elderly person into “investing” or “donating” money against the elder’s best interests. The transfer of money may be for a scam, an offer too good to be true, an inappropriate product for the person or outright trickery.
3. Undue influence on the estate plan: Someone known to the elder may coerce him or her to change estate planning documents. For example, the family member, caregiver, neighbor or someone else may convince the elder to change a power of attorney, will, trust or other testamentary document with the goal of skewing the estate in favor of the exploiter.
4. Isolation to facilitate or lead up to financial exploitation: Beware of the housekeeper, niece or home health aide who has urged the older person not to consult with his or her own children, doctor, lawyer or banker about large financial dealings, but rather, to “keep it a secret.”
5. Exploitation after trauma: It is unfortunately common for exploiters to take advantage of an elder’s weakened state of mind and body after an illness, accident, house fire or death of a spouse. The exploiter may begin charging outrageous fees for routine services; sweep into the elder’s home and make inappropriate transfers of assets; or commit outright theft from the home — sometimes while the elder or a loved one is in the hospital or during a funeral.
Note: Joy Garvey, PLLC, Focuses On Financial Exploitation Of Vulnerable Adults In Arizona
Financial exploitation can leave a vulnerable adult’s resources depleted, greatly inhibiting the quality of life afterward. Elder abuse can also take other forms, including physical or emotional abuse. I refer out cases involving these other types of elder abuse.
Key Questions To Address If You Suspect Financial Exploitation And Elder Abuse
What constitutes financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, including elderly and disabled people? What should you do if someone has taken advantage of you or your elderly or disabled family member through fraud or deceit? Explore answers to these and related questions as they relate to your situation. Contact an attorney with knowledge, perseverance and empathy.
Call 602-842-0260, or complete my firm’s online intake form to learn how I can help you respond in a situation involving financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. I am prepared to go the extra mile, starting right away.