Elderly Exploitation Law Miami

Senior citizens are vulnerable to exploitation of their money or property. This may be at the hands of a loved one or a complete stranger. However, there are special laws in place to protect such a vulnerable group against losses that ensue due to exploitation.

Financial exploitation of seniors occurs when a person is victimized because the senior’s age makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Seniors are vulnerable to crime because they may be dependent on other people for their care or because they are not capable of fully understanding their financial situation. Unfortunately, financial elder abuse may be committed by people the senior loves and trusts, or by strangers looking to profit from another person’s vulnerability. Anyone who is in a position of trust, control, or authority, and uses that position to profit from the senior’s dependence or vulnerability may be guilty of financial elder abuse.

Senior citizens may be victimized in a number of ways. Such activities may involve unauthorized use of the senior’s funds or properties, including theft, forging the senior’s signature, identity theft, convincing the senior to sign over property or money, or threatening not to care for the senior unless he signs over property or money. According to a 2003 study, two-thirds of elder abuse cases are committed by a family member. However, senior citizens may still be vulnerable to financial scams perpetrated by strangers. These scams include email or telephone scams, sweetheart scams, investment scams, home repair scams, or other types of scams designed to steal the senior’s money.

The following are signs that financial elder abuse may be occurring:

  • Senior is not allowed to spend money the way the senior wants
  • Senior’s bills are not paid on time despite financial stability
  • Senior is forced to sell or give away property
  • Senior is forced to sign over Power of Attorney
  • Senior is offered care in exchange for property or access to bank accounts
  • Senior’s account shows unusual activity or ATM withdrawals
  • Senior’s financial situation suddenly changes
  • Senior suddenly changes title of property to someone else
  • Senior’s belongings are missing
  • Senior’s will is suddenly changed
  • Senior makes changes to financial decisions but seems incapable of comprehending those decisions
  • Senior is isolated from friends and/or family
  • Senior is afraid to speak in front of caregiver/companion/family member

Miami Elderly Exploitation Lawyer

For elderly people who have fallen victim to financial elder abuse, a lawsuit can provide a variety of remedies. First, the victim can recover money that was taken or can recover property itself, such as when a valuable item is taken. Second, victims can recover attorney’s fees because the statute protecting elderly citizens provides for attorney’s fees in a lawsuit. Third, although rare, victims may be able to recover punitive damages. It is therefore important that any elderly person seeking to recover what they have wrongfully lost has the right legal team to support them. Let the Trembly Law Firm ensure that justice is done for those victimized.

Overview of Elderly Exploitation

Elderly exploitation occurs whenever a person of advanced age – typically defined as those 65 and older – has money or other property stolen from them. Because of their advanced age, many elderly citizens are vulnerable to financial abuse from those around them. This vulnerability may be due to a range of reasons. In some cases, the elderly person may suffer from dementia or other condition which makes them incapable of comprehending their financial situation. In other cases, the elderly person may be dependent on another for daily personal care, and this care provider may take advantage of his or her position.

Sadly, elderly exploitation occasionally is perpetrated by loved ones or others whom the elderly person trusts. Oftentimes, however, elderly exploitation is committed by strangers who simply want to abuse the vulnerable position of the senior person. Anytime a senior is in a position of dependency on another, there is always a chance that exploitation can occur. Thankfully, special laws exist to protect the elderly against losses which occur from this type of predatory behavior.

Various Kinds of Elderly Exploitation

Elderly exploitation can take a wide variety of forms. The exploitation often is related to the nature of the senior person’s vulnerability. For instance, the exploitation may involve unauthorized use of a senior person’s identity, signature forgery, using threats to compel a senior person to sign over money or property, or withholding care unless money or property is given or signed over. This is just a small selection of the many types of abuse which occur. Astonishingly, a good portion of elderly abuse is committed by people close to the victim. According to a study conducted in 2003, approximately 67% of elderly exploitation is committed by family members of the victim.

Although the majority of elderly abuse is apparently committed by relatives, seniors may be particularly vulnerable to the abuses of strangers in some ways. For example, certain scams conducted by strangers may be more likely to succeed on seniors, such as telephone scams, investment scams, identity theft scams, tax refund scams, and so forth. These are things about which seniors need to have heightened awareness.

Signs Elderly Exploitation May Be Occurring

Here is an incomplete list of signs which may indicate that elderly abuse is taking place:

  • Senior’s bills are unpaid or late despite adequate resources
  • Senior is forced to sell off property
  • Senior is forced to give Power of Attorney (POA)
  • Senior is exchanging money or property for required care services
  • Senior’s bank accounts show suspicious withdrawals or activity
  • Senior suddenly changes title of property to someone else
  • Senior experiences a sudden drastic change in financial stability
  • Senior’s will suddenly changes
  • Senior is suddenly isolated from friends and/or family
  • Senior appears to lack the capability of making sound financial decisions independently
  • Senior is afraid to disagree with or speak against a caregiver or family member

Again, this is an incomplete list. There can be plenty of other signs which may indicate financial abuse of a senior citizen.

Contact a South Miami Elderly Exploitation Law Firm

Elderly exploitation is a serious issue, something which requires an immediate remedy. At the Trembly Law Firm, we have experience dealing with financial abuse of senior citizens in the many forms in which this manifests. If you need assistance in this area, give one of our elderly exploitation attorneys a call today.

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