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Financial Elder Abuse

San Jose Financial Elder Abuse Lawyers

Navigating Financial Elder Abuse Cases in California 

Seniors in Northern California nursing homes all too often are easy prey for people who siphon off the elders' life savings. Some victims are unaware of the exploitation. On the other hand, some victims are too embarrassed to speak up. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of financial abuse, you may have a viable claim to hold the responsible party accountable. Contact a San Jose financial elder abuse attorney from our firm to learn more about your legal options. 

Our elder abuse lawyers can help to recover the money your loved one has lost. We can also help recover additional damages and attorney's fees. We fight for victims of physical and financial abuse of the elderly throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Call Needham Kepner & Fish today at (408) 716-1668 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our financial elder abuse attorney in San Jose!

California Elder Abuse Laws Designed to Safeguard Finances

California's Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act aims to protect elders from financial abuse. Financial elder abuse occurs when an elder's money or property is taken using fraud or undue influence. This includes transfers through a will, gift, donation, or agreement.

Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation by Friends, Family, and Businesses

Elder financial abuse generally occurs after a person or business earns a senior's trust. Then, they take advantage of the relationship. This can occur through misappropriating funds or property through false representations or other deceptive tactics. As a result, the scam artist generally controls the elder's money or property.

Unfortunately, many scams that target seniors are committed by someone the elder knows. For example, perpetrators can include an elder's friend, relative, business partner, or other close acquaintance. This can make the abuse challenging to prove. Our financial elder abuse lawyers help clients uncover and prove fraudulent activity.

Dishonest Insurance and Financial Advisers Target the Elderly

A common type of financial abuse occurs when an insurance broker or financial adviser sells a senior an insurance policy or investment that benefits the seller, not the senior. One example is annuities that provide a return only after as long as 20 years. The dishonest sellers of these annuities convince their victims that the investment will protect the senior's assets or help them qualify for government benefits.

Scams That Target Seniors

Deceptive individuals and companies operate scams that often appear legitimate on the surface. Our San Jose financial abuse attorneys have learned how these cons work. For example, here are some of the most common scams that target senior citizens:

  • Reverse mortgages: Senior citizens are often financially stable and have good credit. As a result, this makes them prime targets for con artists. In a legitimate reverse mortgage, an older homeowner, in effect, receives current income from the home's surplus equity. This allows the senior to benefit from the equity without selling the home. In a reverse mortgage scam, the con artist pushes the senior into a crooked deal. The lopsided deal can end with the fraud artist owning the home and the homeowner's eviction. If a mortgage broker tries to get you to enter into a reverse mortgage, speak to a trustworthy attorney before signing anything.
  • Home improvement: Some scammers take advantage of seniors by claiming their homes need costly repairs. The con artist may unannounced at your door and offer a free inspection. No matter what shape your house is in, the scammer tells you that your house is a wreck and needs expensive repairs. The scammer performs no repairs, pockets your check, and vanishes. If a stranger tries to sell you on home repairs, "no thanks" is the prudent response.
  • Tech Support Scams: Many seniors need to be more savvy with the latest technology. Unfortunately, scammers like to take advantage of the elderly's lack of technological know-how to get access to their computers or smartphones.
  • Advance Fee Fraud: Scammers are always evolving to find new ways of convincing unsuspecting victims that they can access a significant financial reward. They may try to take in your elderly loved one with claims about an inheritance from abroad, winning prizes, and more; advance fee scams result in those affected losing an initial payment with no further potential for gain.

Financial Elder Abuse Statute of Limitations in California

In the state of California, financial elder abuse is a serious issue that affects vulnerable older adults. To protect the rights and financial well-being of elderly individuals, California has established specific laws and regulations, including a statute of limitations for bringing legal action against those responsible for financial elder abuse.

The Statute of Limitations

In California, the statute of limitations for financial elder abuse cases is set at four years. This means that victims or their legal representatives have up to four years from the date they discover the abuse or should have reasonably discovered it to initiate legal proceedings against the alleged abuser. The statute of limitations ensures that victims have reasonable time to gather evidence, consult with an attorney, and pursue a legal remedy.

Key Points

  • Discovery Rule: It's important to note that the statute of limitations clock typically starts ticking when the victim or their representative discovers the financial elder abuse or when they should have reasonably discovered it. This "discovery rule" allows for flexibility, as elder abuse cases often involve complex financial transactions that may not be immediately apparent.
  • Civil and Criminal Actions: The statute of limitations applies to civil actions, where the victim or their representative seeks financial compensation for the harm caused by the abuse. In addition to civil actions, financial elder abuse may also lead to criminal charges against the abuser, which can result in penalties such as fines, restitution, or even imprisonment. Criminal statutes of limitations may differ from civil ones.
  • Protection of Elders: The statute of limitations protects older adults' rights and provides them with a legal avenue for seeking justice in cases of financial exploitation. This protection is vital in California, where a significant aging population requires safeguarding against financial abuse.
  • Consult an Attorney: If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of financial elder abuse, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in elder abuse cases. They can guide you on proceeding within the statute of limitations and help you build a strong legal case.

How Can Our Financial Elder Abuse Attorney Help You?

Our financial elder abuse attorneys in San Jose can assist you by:

  • Identifying Financial Elder Abuse: Financial elder abuse can manifest in various forms, ranging from deceptive scams to undue influence and misappropriation of assets. We possess a deep understanding of the nuanced tactics employed by perpetrators and are adept at recognizing signs of abuse that may otherwise go unnoticed. Whether it's fraudulent schemes, unauthorized use of funds, or coercion, we have the expertise to identify and address the unique challenges associated with financial elder abuse cases.
  • Comprehensive Legal Representation: We are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal representation tailored to each client's specific needs. We understand the emotional toll that elder abuse can take on victims and their families, and we approach each case with the sensitivity and diligence it deserves. From gathering evidence and conducting thorough investigations to navigating intricate legal proceedings, our legal team is committed to ensuring justice.
  • Pursuing Civil Remedies: In many instances, financial elder abuse can result in substantial financial losses for the victim. We are well-versed in pursuing civil remedies to recover assets and seek compensation for the damages incurred. Whether it involves filing lawsuits against perpetrators, recovering misappropriated funds, or addressing breaches of fiduciary duty, our legal team is relentless in advocating for the financial well-being of our clients.
  • Collaborating with Law Enforcement: We recognize the importance of collaboration between legal professionals and law enforcement agencies to combat financial elder abuse effectively. We work closely with appropriate authorities to ensure that criminal acts are investigated and prosecuted. By leveraging our extensive network and legal expertise, we strive to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and contribute to the broader effort to eradicate elder abuse.
  • Implementing Preventative Measures: Prevention is a crucial aspect of addressing financial elder abuse. We provide proactive legal advice to seniors and their families, empowering them with the knowledge needed to safeguard against potential exploitation. Through implementing legal safeguards such as powers of attorney, advanced healthcare directives, and comprehensive estate planning, we strive to prevent financial elder abuse before it occurs.
  • Advocating for Legislative Changes: We are not only dedicated to representing individual clients but also to advocating for systemic changes. We actively engage in lobbying efforts to strengthen and enhance legislation aimed at protecting seniors from financial exploitation. By participating in advocacy initiatives, we contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding elder abuse and work towards creating a legal framework that deters perpetrators and provides stronger protections for seniors.

Contact Our San Jose Financial Elder Abuse Attorney Today

If you suspect that a loved one is the victim of financial elder abuse, you should immediately contact an experienced attorney. Our elder abuse attorneys are available for weekend and evening meetings.

Victims of financial scams often are angry with themselves for being scammed. However, victims misplace their anger. At Needham Kepner & Fish we vow to bring these con artists to justice. Our San Jose financial elder abuse lawyers can help clients uncover the scams that target the elderly. Then, we help recover the stolen assets. Our lawyers have a reputation for helping elderly clients in and around the San Jose and Bay Area.

Contact Needham Kepner & Fish today to schedule a meeting with our financial elder abuse lawyer in San Jose!

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