In California, financial abuse of the elderly is punishable by state and federal laws. California Welfare and Institutions Code section 15600 and other codes define financial abuse of an elderly or disabled individual and outline the consequences should a court find a person guilty.
Elder financial abuse
The law defines the elderly as any person 65 years old or older. A person committing financial abuse against them may take property belonging to the elderly and misuse it, often for their gain. Furthermore, financial abuse occurs if the person attempts to defraud the older adult. Often the abuse is committed by a family member, friend or caregiver who forces the older person to change their trusts, wills, beneficiary deeds or bank accounts.
Where are California elder financial abuse cases heard?
Often cases are settled out of court, but those that proceed usually occur in civil court. Typically, these courts have 12 members, and nine must agree that financial harm happened to the elderly. Then, a judge usually orders that the offender return the money to the senior and may order the person to pay the elderly person interest on their money.
Can wills and trusts be changed after financial abuse?
Seniors may be able to change their wills and trusts so that the abuser does not benefit from them after their death. Furthermore, probate court judges can see that a person guilty of financial abuse does not benefit from wills and trusts.
Financial abuse of a person over the age of 65 occurs when someone denies them access to their assets, and it can result in the perpetrator facing a civil court or losing assets left to them in a will or trust.