Senior citizens can be some of the most vulnerable members of society. These people often rely on trusted friends or family members for help with their day-to-day lives and financial affairs. Sadly, this opens these individuals up to potential abuse. While this behavior can take on many forms, financial abuse can involve the theft of assets, the misuse of legal powers such as power of attorney, or coercing an elder into signing a new will or transferring a deed.
Elders who experience this form of abuse have the right to demand restitution in civil court. A Denver elder financial abuse lawyer could help to fully investigate apparent mistreatment, explain a person’s legal rights, and demand appropriate remedies in and out of court. If you or your loved one are in this situation, do not hesitate to reach out to our attorneys for help with your case.
Senior citizens often rely on help from friends and family members to keep their affairs in order. This can include opening a joint bank account, cohabitation, or even granting others power of attorney. It is an unfortunate fact that these arrangements can often leave elders vulnerable to the predations of others.
One form of elder financial abuse involves the direct siphoning of funds from the senior citizen to another party. People who use a power of attorney to enrich themselves or directly steal from an older person are liable for these actions. Other forms of financial elder abuse are more subtle and sinister.
Older individuals who may not have full control over their thoughts and actions may fall prey to abuse in the forms of duress or undue influence. One example of this is when a person convinces a senior citizen to create a new will that names the abuser as the sole heir. In extreme cases, this may even include forging an elderly person’s signature on legal documents. A Denver attorney could offer legal assistance if an elderly person suffered any of these kinds of financial abuse.
There is no doubt that all forms of elder financial abuse are illegal. From the outset, seniors or concerned family members who believe that theft has occurred should contact the police. Theft is a crime no matter how small the dollar amount, and forging a signature on a legal document is an example of criminal fraud.
However, it may also be possible to simultaneously seek a remedy in civil court. A civil suit may seek repayment of stolen funds as well as pursue compensation for suffering years after the abuse has occurred. In cases where elder abuse constitutes undue influence over a testamentary document such as a will, Colorado Revised Statute § 15-12-407 states that parties contesting a will bear the burden of proving undue influence, lack of mental capacity, or fraud. A lawyer in Denver could help to prove elder financial abuse in probate court to protect a decedent’s heirs.
Elder financial abuse is a serious problem that may necessitate skilled legal counsel. A Denver elder financial abuse lawyer could help by performing a full investigation into the facts of the case and building a strong argument on your behalf. We want to protect you and your elderly loved ones. Call today to schedule an initial case consultation.
Reynolds Gillette LLC