Age and infirmity can leave loved ones vulnerable to financial predation. There are people who, presented with an opportunity, will take full advantage of the elderly and the isolated. This can take the form of obtaining access to bank accounts, investments, and title to real estate. A lifetime of hard work can be stolen and disintegrate There are many ways this can happen.
While estate planning documents (wills, trusts, powers of attorney and the like) are useful tools for protecting assets, they can also be turned into weapons that can be used against the vulnerable and helpless. All it takes is for the wrong person to be involved in an elderly person’s life. Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxies are commonly used by unscrupulous people to make the property and money of the elderly their own. The people who do this kind of thing, unfortunately, can include “friends”, and relatives. People with access to an elderly person who decide to exploit that access, and influence that person to do things with their property that they would not ordinarily do. In these situations, elderly people who already have a will or other estate planning in place suddenly have new estate planning naming heirs and beneficiaries different from their original heirs. Frequently, this occurs at a time when the elder is physically or mentally fragile, or both, alone, or has experienced the onset of some form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Left under cover, the perpetrators of this kind of activity can secretly walk away with someone’s home and life savings. The way to investigate and uncover their actions is through the Probate Court. The Probate Court judges deal with these kind of issues regularly. A thorough investigation of bank accounts, estate planning history, and deeds and title to real estate can recreate the story of the financial exploitation, and the Probate Courts have the legal power and experience to order that whatever was stolen shall be put back where it belongs. The job of the attorney representing those who have suffered financial abuse is to put that story in front of the Judge in a way that is convincing and compelling. This is a highly specialized area of law, requiring a lot of experience and a real commitment to the idea that the elderly, frail, lonely, and handicapped should have the ability to fight back if their property is taken from them.
Richard Thomas Davies, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
Toll Free: 888-269-0688