Elder Abuse typically takes place when there is a family member over the age of 65 who is unable to care for themselves, either because of physical or mental decline. Elder Abuse, including elder financial abuse, often plays a part in a number of Estate Matters, including Conservatorships, Probates, and Trust Litigations. Our firm specializes in elder abuse that has occurred within the context of a Probate matter, as well as related financial elder abuse matters.
Anyone who believes elder abuse is occurring can bring a lawsuit. Kinds of elder abuse can include:
An experienced Elder Abuse attorney can guide you as to your best course of action. In Probate Court, during a person’s lifetime we seek to protect the elder through conservatorship or direct mediation and seek financial damages. After the death of the loved one, financial elder abuse actions can be brought within a trust or estate lawsuit.
Undue Influence, as defined by California Probate law, is influence exerted over someone that is “excessive” and either causes an action to be taken, or prevents an action from being taken. Undue influence is typically applicable to persons who are over the age of 65.
Financial elder abuse typically takes the form of an individual such as a family member or caregiver exerting pressure upon an elder to take or refrain from an action that financially benefits the family member or caregiver. For example, an adult child convinces his elderly mother who has recently been diagnosed with dementia to change her will and exclude the child’s siblings.
Allegations of undue influence can be both difficult to prove and difficult to disprove. One way attorneys deal with this is to “flip the burden of proof” to the other party.
California has specific laws in place to protect elderly persons. Elder financial abuse is defined by the State as when a person or entity does any of the following:
Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of and by undue influence.
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