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Elder Abuse: Case Studies
FINANCIAL ABUSE AND UNDUE INFLUENCE
Case 1: Elder Abuse By Neighbors
An elderly widow with no local family was persuaded to transfer
title to her home to her neighbors, who then left her at an assisted living
facility and disappeared. We filed a lawsuit and recorded a Notice of
Pendency of Action against the property, preventing the abusers from selling
the property or taking out a loan against it. After several months of
litigation, we successfully recovered the home on behalf of the elderly
Case 2: Undue Influence Over Assets
Our client was the granddaughter of an elderly woman with dementia.
During the grandmother’s lifetime, she executed multiple Wills, all of which
left her home to her granddaughter. Unfortunately, the granddaughter’s own
mother – and the daughter of grandmother – had other plans. Several years
after admitting her mother to a dementia facility and verifying that her
mother lacked capacity to make her own decisions regarding her assets, the
daughter had her own mother, who was then in her mid-90’s, sign title to her
home over to her. The daughter then sold the home and kept the proceeds,
effectively disinheriting her own daughter from grandmother’s estate.
Using California’s strong statutes against financial elder abuse, we
successfully recovered well over twice the value of the home that was taken.
Case 3: Undue Influence Among Siblings
We represented several children of an elderly gentleman who
suffered from advanced dementia. After being diagnosed with dementia, the
gentleman curiously signed over title to his home to one of his children,
despite providing in his Will that he wanted each of his children to inherit
an equal share of his estate. The child who took title to the home then
proceeded to spend well over $250,000 of the gentleman’s money on herself
and her own family.
The final straw for my clients occurred, however, when
they found out that the bad child had named herself as beneficiary of the
elder’s financial accounts shortly before his death. Because of the
egregious behavior involved, we successfully obtained a prejudgment writ of
possession, preventing the bad child from spending or hiding assets which
had been wrongfully taken, and eventually obtained a hard-fought recovery
for our clients.
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