All too often, older adults are preyed upon by people they think they can trust. At the financial exploitation law firm Van Elswyk Law in Sarasota, FL, we protect families and their loved ones from these nefarious individuals.
If you or a loved one has been financially exploited by another party, we can help you seek justice. An experienced elder exploitation attorney at Van Elswyk Law will explain your legal options and fight hard to recover the money that was taken from you. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation.
What is elder financial exploitation?
As people get older, they typically have more difficulty managing their affairs. Some experience a physical disability that prevents them from eating, doing chores, or even bathing without assistance. Others experience a mental disability that interferes with their ability to make decisions.
Because of these difficulties, many older adults obtain assistance from those they feel they can trust. Some of the more common ways they get assistance are:
- Hiring a caretaker
- Moving into a senior living facility
- Granting power of attorney to a loved one
- Hiring an attorney or financial advisor to handle their money
In most cases, these helpers have some control over the finances of the elderly adult. For example, an at-home caretaker may need access to a credit card or checking account to buy groceries.
The most common type of elder financial exploitation occurs when a party who has been granted this power uses it for reasons other than intended. Suppose that a senior facility administrator takes money from your bank account to pay for their vacation. That’s a clear case of financial exploitation.
The worst thing about this type of exploitation is that it can often go on for years without anyone realizing it. Because the perpetrator has control over accounts or assets belonging to you or your loved one, they can easily hide the embezzlement.
Another type of elder financial exploitation is fraud. While less common than financial exploitation by trusted caregivers, it still affects thousands of older adults every year.
Fraud against the elderly usually involves taking advantage of technology or procedures they aren’t familiar with. For example, many older people don’t understand all the nuances of how their computer works, and a deceitful person can use that confusion to fleece money from them.
What to Do if You Suspect that You or an Elderly Loved One Has Been Exploited Financially
The first thing you should do is contact a financial exploitation attorney at Van Elswyk Law. Our law firm will immediately investigate your concerns and help you place a hold on any affected assets so more money can’t be stolen.
This does not mean you will get restitution right away. But we can typically file motions with the court that will prevent you or your loved one from losing any more assets.
While we are protecting you from further losses, we will scour your financial records and the records of the suspected party to find evidence of financial exploitation. This step may take some time, but we know what to look for and will never leave any stone unturned.
What types of restitution can you receive?
We will fight to get you back every dollar that was illegally taken from your accounts. If your property was sold or stolen, you might have to settle for money equal to the value of the property.
But that is only the start. Our law firm will also fight to get you fair interest on the assets that were taken, based on the time you were without them, and we may also seek additional damages based on how egregious the actions of the other party were.
Van Elswyk Law Has a Unique Advantage
Why do people choose Van Elswyk Law when they’ve been financially exploited? Brice Van Elswyk has a 14-year history working in the financial sector. He knows how to analyze financial records and pinpoint cases of fraud and embezzlement.
This experience also means that our attorney has an edge in the courtroom. He can understand complicated financial testimony and quickly respond to evidence that might confuse other attorneys. This is the kind of advantage you need when proving that you’ve been financially exploited.
Contact Van Elswyk Law in Sarasota, FL, Immediately
Experts say that financial fraud costs older adults $3 billion each year, with an average loss of $120,000 per victim.
Financial exploitation can destroy what should be the most rewarding years of one’s life. You or your loved one does not deserve to live in poverty because someone you trusted betrayed that trust.
If you or a loved one has been exploited financially, contact a financial law attorney at Van Elswyk Law as soon as possible so we can seek to prevent any additional assets from being taken and recover the stolen money.