Financial Elder Abuse Stealing by Any Other Name

Sacramento, CA:
The state of California has one of the toughest and broadest laws protecting against Financial Elder Abuse in the US. So broad, in fact, that under financial elder abuse law if a business were to dispense the wrong change to a consumer and the individual was in a position to prove he was 65 or over, then the issuance of wrongful change could be interpreted as financial abuse of the elderly.

Sadly, according to a former professional in the salon industry who returned to school at 65 and became an attorney, elder abuse financial exploitation is becoming quite common, and very serious. “It never dawned on me that this might be a crime,” Helen Karr, today the elder abuse special assistant in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, said in comments published in The San Francisco Chronicle (The Chronicle 3/29/13). “It wasn’t until I became an attorney that financial abuse was included as a crime of elder abuse. It is just plain stealing.”

That stealing, more often than not, originates from within a senior’s own family.

Karr reveals that in her former career as a supervisor at beauty salons in department stores, she would overhear scores of conversations between hairdressers and their elderly clients lamenting the loss of funds to acquaintances, caregivers and even family members – loans that were never repaid.

Now 78, Karr has spearheaded various initiatives in an attempt to better protect the elderly from those who might otherwise take advantage of them. One of her initiatives was to spearhead an elderly financial abuse law in California that requires banks and financial institutions to report suspicion of elder financial abuse.

Part of the financial exploitation elderly problem is that medical science is allowing people to live longer than they used to. And while an individual may have more prolonged physical longevity than a previous generation, their mental capacity may not keep pace.

Hence, the upswing in financial elderly abuse.

It’s not just family or so-called friends either, Karr said in The Chronicle. Financial planners and vendors of financial products can smell an easy sale and commission through the issuance of a product not at all appropriate for a trusting senior of advanced age.

“An annuity can be a good investment,” Karr told The Chronicle. “But if you’re already in your 70s and an insurance salesman tries to sell you one, and the fine print is that you can’t take out your money for 20 years without a very steep penalty, that’s an inappropriate product for that person.”

Full Article and Source:
Financial Elder Abuse Stealing by Any Other Name

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2 Responses to “Financial Elder Abuse Stealing by Any Other Name”

  1. Thelma Says:

    That's good to know.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Court sanctioned financial abuse is stealing as well.

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