Actions That Loved Ones Can Take

In certain situations, victims of financial elder exploitation simply don't want to sue the people who are taking advantage of them. Here is one example:

An elderly man is both physically and emotionally dependent upon his longtime housekeeper. The man's daughter realizes that the housekeeper has wrongfully taken nearly $50,000 of her father's money, but her father refuses to listen. He says he trusts the housekeeper and doesn't want to do anything to risk losing her.

In such a situation as the one above, does the daughter have any legal recourse? What are her options for stopping the financial abuse?

Phil Brown Law in Beverly Hills has extensive experience with these types of elder law issues and can provide the clear legal advice you need.

Trustees Can Step In To Protect Money In Trusts

In general, if the elderly person is mentally competent and capable of making his or her own decisions, not many legal remedies are available. It's his or her money, and it's his or her choice as to how that money is spent.

However, if the elder's money is in a trust, the trustee has legal standing and the right to correct the problem. (Keep in mind that in some circumstances, the trustee may also be the elder individual.) However, all trusts provide for a successor to take over the trustee's responsibilities, in the event that the original trustee is not mentally or physically capable of fulfilling his or her duties. If the elder is the trustee, and he or she is mentally incapacitated, the successor trustee has the legal ability to act upon becoming the trustee.

Attorney Phil Brown advises trustees on how to step in, prevent the abuse and reclaim the money.

A Conservator Can Also Take Action

If an elder is being taken advantage of and will suffer as a result, another person may petition the court to be appointed as the conservator of that elder's estate. In the capacity of conservator, that person could then bring an action against the wrongdoer and stop the financial abuse.

The normal procedure for becoming a conservator takes several months. The court will appoint a lawyer on behalf of the proposed conservatee. The court will also appoint an investigator who will interview the proposed conservatee and write a report. In California, however, there are also emergency applications for the appointment of a conservator. When time is of the essence, an emergency application can often result in a conservatorship being established the same day.

Exploring Your Legal Options

For skilled assistance, contact Phil Brown Law by calling 424-281-0991. For over 40 years, attorney Philip Brown has provided representation throughout Los Angeles County and Southern California.