Sadly, it is all too common that vulnerable elders become the target of fraud from a number of different sources—financial advisors who are lining their own pockets with excessive transaction fees (churning), health care providers who are unscrupulously overcharging and committing health care fraud, and even close friends and family members who have earned and taken advantage of the trust and confidence of the elderly individual.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Ineffective Estate Planning
Ineffective estate plans frequently leave elderly people vulnerable to financial exploitation. Too often, a joint account with a family member or caregiver is established as a means to pass assets on to intended heirs. However, joint accounts are subject to tax liens, judgments, divorce liability and other implications against the other account holder. In addition, because both parties are owners of the account, the entire account could be wiped clean without the elderly individual ever becoming aware—until it is too late.
Our estate planning lawyers offer advice regarding more effective estate planning options, such as a power of attorney, beneficiary deed or pay on death account. These options safeguard the elderly individual's assets from many of the risks associated with joint bank accounts. However, they achieve the goals of allowing a loved one to manage assets on behalf of the elderly individual or take ownership of certain assets upon the death of the elderly individual.
Financial Mismanagement ∙ Undue Influence ∙ Duress ∙ Exploitation
Our attorneys often discover evidence of elder financial abuse and fraud while preparing an estate plan or probating an estate. A child or a person managing the assets of the vulnerable elder may have invested money in schemes that were blatantly not in the best interest of the elder, or may have converted funds for their own purposes. We have seen children of vulnerable elders persuade the parent to deed them real estate to the exclusion of siblings, or hand over their retirement fund, leaving the elder person impoverished.
When unscrupulous techniques are used to obtain assets prior to the elderly individual's death or to influence the individual's estate plan, we act on behalf of the estate and the intended heirs to prove the deception and return these assets to the estate for proper distribution.
Consult With One Of Our Experienced Elder Abuse Lawyers
Our estate planning attorneys at Platt & Westby, P.C., offer experienced and dependable legal representation to elder fraud and abuse victims and their families. We pursue justice and accountability on behalf of clients in Phoenix and surrounding areas.
Contact Platt & Westby, P.C., or call 602-277-4441 to speak with our elder abuse and fraud lawyers and learn more about your rights. We are committed and diligent defenders of the rights of vulnerable elders. We will prosecute cases of fraud and elder abuse to the fullest extent possible. Arizona law permits injured citizens to sue for and recover in civil court up to three times the amount of their damages, plus court costs and attorneys fees. We can meet clients at one of our six office locations in the Phoenix area, or at a location convenient to clients incapable of traveling to our office.