Power of Attorney Scams - Elder Abuse Lawyers Los Angeles | Burns Law

Elder Financial Abuse: Power of Attorney Scams

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We're all aware of the fact that the elderly population is more susceptible to scams than others. However, recent years have showcased a growing number of these scams that involve both friends and family members. This scenario typically happens when a close family friend or a family member is granted financial power of attorney over an elderly person.

Unfortunately, any injury lawyer Los Angeles can reveal that those who are granted financial power over their elderly relative or friend can take their money even though they’ve been entrusted with aiding their loved one. Many will claim that their efforts were to keep the money safe from the elderly person as they were afraid that they might use it to make bad financial decisions. In many cases, this can lead to the elderly person losing their home, property, money, and other financial assets that they once owned.

Why Target The Elderly?

The elderly population right now is at a very high risk of being taken advantage of in a financial sense. Most elderly people will experience the natural effects of cognitive decline as they age or because of the use of certain medications. This makes them more susceptible to bad decisions. In addition, the world is changing tremendously due to technological advances. The majority of the elderly population has been unable to keep up with changing technology, and this makes them more vulnerable to getting financially taken advantage of.

Due to these two main reasons listed above, the elderly population is more at risk than ever before. It's suggested by elder abuse lawyers that the number of financial scams regarding the elderly population will continue to increase as the years go by. They believe that unauthorized use of a power of attorney is going to be the most commonly experienced.

Understanding A Power Of Attorney

A power of attorney can be granted for many different things. In general, it's a legal form that grants a specific person or group of people written authorization to act on your behalf in case you are deemed mentally unfit by those around you. In most cases, these are drawn up for handling matters like your finances and your health decisions.

This power is very helpful for assisting elderly patients who are unable to make sound financial decisions. However, they can be a nightmare for elderly persons who are preyed upon by greedy family members and friends. For this reason, it's very important that you be mindful of who you give power of attorney to.

A Look At Power Of Attorney Abuse Cases

While elder abuse lawyers in Los Angeles can share with you the common warning signs of a typical power of attorney abuse case, we're going to assist you in learning some right now. Elderly people who live alone and have no immediate family are most susceptible to these types of scams. These cases tend to start with the elderly person undergoing an injury.

This injury either requires them to stay at the hospital or out-patient facility. The elderly person is worried about paying their bills, and a close friend or family member jumps at the chance to get a power of attorney document signed. The elderly individual signs that power of attorney granting the relative or close friend power over their financial assets.

The friend or relative then starts taking advantage of their power by transferring money to their own bank accounts. In many cases, the elderly person will find out weeks or months later that they've been robbed of all of their financial assets by the person that they have given their power of attorney to. The person who has this power will take the stance that they're just putting the assets in safekeeping.

Nursing Home Neglect

Family court lawyers can share a number of dreadful stories with you regarding numerous cases of nursing home neglect. Many of us put our loved ones in nursing homes to ensure that they stay safe and happy in their elder years. Nursing homes can provide them with the constant care that they need when we're unable to give it to them ourselves.

However, it's important to be on guard about how your elderly parent or friend is being treated in any facility. The law breaks down nursing home problems into neglect and abuse. Knowing the difference between the two can ensure that you get the right lawyer to assist you with your specific case.

To report nursing home negligence, you first need to understand what neglect is. Most nursing homes that are accused of neglect are those who have inadequate staffing to handle the number of patients that they have. These employees tend to be overly stressed and don't provide an adequate level of care for every patient. Suing a nursing home for neglect usually falls into one of the following categories:

  • Medical Neglect
  • Emotional / Social Neglect
  • Hygiene / Basic Living Needs Neglect

Your lawyer can assist you in determining the specific type of neglect that your loved one has undergone. If you suspect that your loved one has undergone any sort of neglect at their nursing home, you should file a report for nursing home neglect right away. Be sure to enlist the help of skilled elder neglect lawyers to ensure that your loved one is properly represented in a court of law.

Filing a lawsuit against a nursing home for negligence is a patient's legal right. In most cases, the patient signed a contract with the nursing home that was legally binding. If the nursing home breached their contract, then the patient can take up administrative, criminal, and civil penalties against them by contacting an attorney for civil issues.

Preventing Nursing Home Neglect

One of the best ways to ensure that your elderly parent or close friend is not neglected at a nursing home is to properly vet the facility. The chosen facility should have adequate staff that is properly trained to handle the care of elderly patients. Make sure that the facility properly performs thorough background checks on all staff members, as this can turn up some nasty stuff if they don't.

The Law Offices of Nigel Burns 

The Law Offices of Nigel Burns is a law firm for civil court issues, like those surrounding probate, elder abuse, divorce, and alimony. 

These are emotional matters that often hit close to home, so you are bound to be invested in your civil lawsuit; our attorneys will handle the legal process to make sure your lawsuit brings you the most favorable results. Our attorneys can help litigate: 

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