Financial Abuse and Undue Influence
Financial elder abuse in its most basic form is any type of theft or embezzlement of money or property from an elder. California Welfare & Institutions Code §15610.30 defines financial abuse as any individual who: (1) takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud or both; (2) assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with the intent to defraud or both; or (3) takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or a dependent adult by undue influence.
Undue influence is also defined by California Civil Code §1575 as follows:
"Undue influence consists (1) in the use, by one in whom a confidence is reposed by another, or who holds a real or apparent authority over him, of such confidence or authority for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage over him; (2) in taking an unfair advantage of another's weakness of mind; or (3) in a grossly oppressive and unfair advantage of another's necessities or distress."
The elderly, due to the higher potential for diminished mental and physical capacity, are extremely susceptible to people mishandling their finances. Those individuals who have established a relationship of trust with an elder may at times abuse that trust for their own pecuniary gain. Financial planners, insurance agent, caregivers and, sadly, even family members are just some of the people who may see an opportunity to line their own pockets by pretending to have the elder's best financial interest at heart. If your loved one has fallen victim to someone who has taken advantage of a financial situation, you should contact a lawyer to assist you immediately.
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced financial elder abuse attorney, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or click here to submit your inquiry online.