Elder Law and Concerns of Fraud
May 2, 2016
As someone practicing elder law, I regularly speak with family numbers that are concerned that one of their parents is a victim of fraud. Unfortunately, this happens on a regular basis and with new ways to scam the elderly it appears to be happening with frequency. The best thing you can do in this situation is to call the police and to call my law firm.
Open an Investigation
It is critical that you call the police as soon as you are aware that there could be fraud taking place. If for example, you learn that one of their caregivers has been accessing their bank accounts and siphoning funds, it is imperative that you call and file a police report right away. The same holds true to any physical abuse they may be suffering or if you feel that somebody is fraudulently trying to get them to enter into a contract or agreement. This happens more frequently when it comes to the transfer of assets. Some fraudsters try to have the elderly transfer over titles of vehicles or homes for example. The point is that you must report the potential theft or fraud as soon as you are aware of it to ensure that a proper investigation can be completed and to help prevent the loss from continuing. Many elderly are disinclined to believe anything negative about their caregivers and this puts them in a vulnerable situation where they can continue to be stolen from without the police stepping in to assist.
File a Civil Suit
As someone practicing elder law, I always tell my clients that there is a clear difference between a criminal case and a civil case. It is the job of the police or the District attorney to investigate your claim and to see if it has merit. These cases can be difficult to find enough evidence for criminal charges to be pressed. However, if the evidence is there, it is up to the state and prosecutor to determine what charges to bring against the individual in question. As a result, they may end up in court with a criminal attorney fighting to prevent potential jail time or fines being assessed by the state.
Having criminal charges pressed against the individual can help to prevent them from stealing any more of your loved one's assets and it can also help to prevent them from doing the same to someone else. However, it may not serve to compensate your loved one and that is why filing a civil lawsuit may be necessary. When you file a case in civil court or orphans court you can seek financial compensation for damages that you or in this case your parent has suffered. As an attorney practicing elder law I can help you to do so. Whether your parent has suffered physical abuse at the hands of nursing home attendant or they have been a victim of fraud from one of their caregivers, I can provide you with legal aid while helping your parent to recover financially.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.