Financial Elder Abuse & Dependent Adult Abuse

At the Lendrum Law Firm, we regularly represent Elders and Dependent Adults in financial fraud, securities fraud, trust Litigation, breach of fiduciary duty, loan fraud and real estate fraud cases. Mr. Lendrum has been recognized as one of Southern California's Legal Leaders by the Los Angeles Times in the categories of consumer law and litigation. In recognition of his achievements and skill, for more than fifteen years, Mr. Lendrum has been awarded the distinguished AV Preeminent Rating, which is reserved for those attorneys who have demonstrated preeminent legal skills and ethics.

According to the U.S. Department of Health And Human Services, elder abuse is a growing problem. As our population lives longer and baby boomers reach retirement, we anticipate it will only get worse.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's 2011 report, over 50 million Americans are aged 62 and older. Elderly adults have increasingly become prime targets for financial abuse and exploitation both by people they know and trust and people holding themselves out as financial professionals. Financial exploitation of Elders has been called "The Crime of the 21st Century" with one study suggesting that older Americans lost at least $2.9 billion to elder financial abuse and exploitation by a broad spectrum of perpetrators in 2010.

Recognizing the need for greater protection and deterrence against abuses, California law offers protection for Elders (age 65 or older) and Dependent Adults (a person who has physical or mental limitations that restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities and who is between 18 and 64). These laws provide powerful protection of and remedies for the elderly and disabled.

Elder and Dependent abuse laws apply to any "taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, retaining or wrongful use" of property (which includes money). If the property was taken from an elder or dependent or transferred by fraud or undue influence, the remedies available are extremely powerful, including the right to seek the return of the property, damages, double damages, punitive damages, as well as reimbursement of their attorneys' fees.

Signs and symptoms of Financial Elder Abuse or Dependent Adult Abuse include:

  • The purchase of inappropriate financial products, such as annuities, by an Elder or Dependent Adult;
  • Out-of-character investments, including those where there is no readily available market, investments promising high returns, or investment or financial products purchased at "free" lunch or dinner seminars;
  • The purchase of unnecessary or fraudulent insurance products;
  • Unexplained loans (including to family members, trusted professionals and/or third parties);
  • Unexplained transfers or gifts to a family member, trusted advisor or stranger;
  • Unexplained changes or modifications to an Elder's Will;
  • Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the Elder or Dependent Adult;
  • The inclusion of additional names on an Elder or Dependent Adult bank signature card;
  • Forged documents used in financial transactions or for the transfer of title or property; and
  • Previously uninvolved relatives claiming rights to property and/or possessions of an Elder or Dependent Adult.

If you believe you are a victim of Elder Financial Abuse or Dependent Adult Abuse , please contact the Lendrum Law Firm to arrange for a free consultation.