Millions of older Americans are subject to abuse every year. Such abuse may be physical or financial, and it preys on the vulnerability occasioned by old age. According to the National Council of Aging (NCOA), financial abuse results in losses amounting to billions of dollars among senior citizens, which is why it is important to look out for your loved ones and protect them from such abuses.
The abuser may wipe out the lifetime savings of an elderly citizen without their knowledge, and the rightful beneficiaries may end up missing out on what could have otherwise gone to them.
What the law in California says about elder abuse
The law in California protects the elderly from any form of abuse. Under the state’s Welfare and Institutions Code, anyone above 65 years of age is considered elderly and legally protected from such financial exploitation.
Financial abuse entails improper or illegal use of an elderly’s money or property for personal benefit. It includes carrying out or assisting in the theft, misappropriation, or concealment of the elderly person’s property. Fraud against this vulnerable group also counts as a form of financial abuse. Further, the law says that the perpetrator must have known or should have been aware that their actions would likely be harmful to the elderly person in question.
Take action as soon as possible
If your loved one has been a victim of financial abuse, it is advisable to swing into action before the paper trail runs cold. Arresting the perpetrator is half the work. The rest lies in recovering the stolen money or assets and getting your loved one the justice they deserve.
Protect their legal rights by making the right decision on the steps of action to take when such financial abuse comes to light.