What is Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation?
As we age, we become more vulnerable to potential abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Elder abuse is defined as another person causing physical, mental or sexual injury to any adult over 60 years old, including exploitation of such adult’s financial resources, and abandonment. Neglect and self-neglect is defined as a person’s failure to provide an elder adult with or willful withholding from an elder adult the necessities of life including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter or health care.
In many cases, an abuser is a person who is in a position of trust and holds power and influence over an elder. This may be a family member, a long-time friend, or a caregiver. There are many examples of elder abuse, neglect, and elder financial exploitation. An abuser can take money or assets they are not entitled to using a power of attorney or induce an elder to give “gifts.” If you believe you or a loved one has been abused or financially exploited, our elder law litigation attorneys at Dutton Casey & Mesoloras, PC can assist with navigating and pursuing remedies to stop current abuse and neglect, remedy past exploitation, and protect you or your loved one from future harm.
If an elder who has been abused, neglected, or financially exploited can no longer make decisions for themselves, due to a mental or physical disability, a guardianship may be necessary. Once a guardian has been appointed, they can ensure the elder is in a safe living environment and can restrict visitation from past abusers. Our elder law litigation attorneys can assist the guardian of estate to pursue a citation to recover assets against a financial abuser on behalf of the exploited elder.
Powers of Attorney
If the elder who has been abused or neglected retains the capacity to sign Powers of Attorney, our estate planning lawyers can draft an estate plan which nominates a trusted individual as agent. This agent can then work to ensure the elder is physically safe and can safeguard assets and pursue litigation to recover assets.
If the financial abuse is not discovered until after the death of an elder, our elder law litigation attorneys can assist an estate representative to pursue a citation to recover assets on behalf of the decedent’s probate estate.