Elder Financial, Neglect, and Physical Abuse Matters

Financial abuse is “a situation in which a person, including but not limited to, one who has care or custody of or who stands in a position of trust, of an elder or dependent adult, takes, secretes, or appropriates their money or property, to any wrongful use, or with the intent to defraud.“ - California State Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 15610.30

“Financial abuse happens when a person takes an elder’s property for a wrongful use, with the intent to defraud, or through undue influence.“

At an age when everyone should enjoy their golden years, more and more people each year fall victims to various forms of exploitation: financial abuse, emotional distress, neglect, physical abuse. The outcomes can range from a decline in one’s physical well-being to loss of property, loss of financial independence and, in more severe cases, even loss of life.

Nationally, between one to two million Americans who are 65 or older have been injured, exploited or mistreated by someone they once trusted.

 The Scott Law Firm draws from our team’s extensive experience with civil-rights litigation to represent elders, fiduciaries, and their families in their plight to regain their assets and their peace of mind. Recent case study

Areas we cover

Financial Abuse
To an alarming degree, unscrupulous people are providing elders with inaccurate information about housing and health-care costs to lure them into virtually giving away their assets. Here are some examples of financially abusive behavior by a perpetrator:

    • Befriending elder based on false pretenses;
    • Isolating and frightening elder into believing she can only trust her new “advisor”;
    • False advertising to lure elders into purchasing unnecessary goods, services, and financial products;
    • Transferring elder’s real property below fair-market value;
    • Withdrawing or transferring large sums of the elder’s cash or liquid assets;
    • Initiating “joint” credit cards, bank accounts, lines of credit, and loans;
    • Changing fiduciary for elder’s power of attorney, trust or estate plan;
    • Naming oneself as a “new” beneficiary on an elder’s trust, estate plan, insurance policy or investment account(s);
    • Making unusual or unnecessary purchases with elder’s assets—e.g. inexplicable luxury vacations, golf clubs, or a diamond bracelet;
    • Paying for unnecessary home repairs or “remodels” with elder’s assets—having new siding put on a stucco house or the garage driveway repaved;
    • Forging elder’s signature, stealing her identity, or fabricating elder’s “consent;” and,
    • Overzealous care provider(s) or service providers taking “care of” elder’s finances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Physical Abuse
Physical abuse covers a spectrum of misconduct which results in impairment, pain, serious injury, or death. This area includes, but is not limited to:

    • Improper use of drugs;
    • Physical restraints and/or confinement;
    • Forced feeding;
    • Physical punishment and/or assault.


Elder neglect, or failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation, constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as he or she does.


Elder abuse can be prevented if fiduciaries and family members intervene promptly.

Please contact the proper authorities in California if you suspect that elder abuse is occurring. Call the Statewide Elder Services locator number at (1800) 510-2020 for your county’s Adult Protective Services or ombudsman telephone numbers.