If you feel your elderly loved one was unduly influenced by someone and coerced into changing their estate planning documents, or somehow giving away their money, there are ways to detect this and ensure that your loved one’s legal rights are protected.
Under elder abuse law in the State of California, a victim or their family can prove undue influence if there is a vulnerability of the elderly victim, the wrongdoer has authority over them in some way, the actions of the wrongdoer are identifiable, and there was a result that proved inequitable towards the vulnerable victim.
Nursing Homes and Assisted Care Facilities
Oftentimes, when elderly loved ones develop cognitive medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the family places them in a nursing home or assisted care facility where they will be looked after and cared for on a regular basis.
However, some nursing home employees will take advantage of senior residents who have a difficult time remembering their own finances and may not even remember that they transferred money or signed over estate planning documents to another person.
Even without any cognitive issues, some individuals may not understand that they are being manipulated and out of goodwill, may transfer assets to caregivers within a nursing home if unduly influenced. If your elderly loved one is in a nursing home or another assisted care facility, always make sure to monitor their finances.
If your elderly loved one exhibits any symptoms or signs of cognitive decline, including dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you may consider taking a careful look at their financial assets, records, and estate planning documents. In many cases, when this type of mental decline occurs, the incapacity of an elderly person may offer an opportunity for an unscrupulous person to take advantage of them.
5 Ways to Spot Undue Influence
If you believe someone manipulated or coerced your elderly loved one with respect to their finances, these are some of the common signs to look for:
- Your elderly loved one is isolated from family and friends
- Document signatures appear new and unlike previous signatures of the elderly person
- Sudden and unexpected financial changes, including large purchases or cash withdrawals
- Your elderly loved one suddenly appears unkempt and disheveled
- An unrelated or unexpected person begins speaking on behalf of your elderly loved one
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If your elderly loved one appears to have any of the signs of undue influence listed above, it may be time to take a careful examination and inventory of all of their financial assets, bank accounts, and estate planning documents to ensure that there has been no evidence of undue influence.
If you discover that someone manipulated your elderly loved one into giving them assets, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at McCunn Law at 916-675-3927 or 786-776-0130 or online today. You can schedule a free consultation to help determine your next best steps on behalf of your elderly loved one and ensure that their legal rights are protected.