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Financial Elder Abuse In California

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is more common than it may seem. Around 10% of all nursing home residents in the country have experienced some form of abuse at least one point while at a nursing home. One of the most common types of abuse has recently been financial abuse.  

Many employees at the nursing home try to take advantage of the elderly by taking advantage of them financially and taking control of their finances, such as bank accounts or personal belongings, such as jewelry.

The elderly are considered victims of financial abuse since they may suffer some type of vulnerability and may need to trust and depend on the people around them for daily functions. This then makes them highly susceptible to being taken advantage of.

What is elder financial abuse in california?

  • Generally, financial abuse in California is meant to include the exploitation of another person’s financial resources, whether it is real property or personal property.
  •  Under the California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15600, the elderly and dependent adults are protected from all types of neglect, and abandonment. This includes all types of abuse as well. This means that it is illegal for anybody to take advantage of an elderly financially while in the care of a nursing home. 
  • Under the law, no person shall obtain any information regarding the personal property or real property of an elder. No person shall take any personal belongings of an elderly due to fraud, or influence.

What are the different ways financial abuse could occur?


Theft is the most common type of financial abuse. This is also the easiest to prove since all you have to show is that the belonging was gone and it is now in the possession of the other party. Theft could be when a person physically takes personal property from the elderly’s belongings. Many residents at nursing homes permanently live there, and so a lot of their personal belongings are in their rooms. This makes it easier to take personal belongings, especially when the resident is sleeping, or distracted.


Fraud occurs when a person mistakes a statement to get the nursing home resident to give up some type of personal or real property. For example, a nursing home employee could create a fake story about how she needs money for her child, in order to influence the nursing home resident to offer their money. Fraud may also include instances of impersonation. For example, perpetrators may impersonate their victims on the phone when dealing with government agencies or private agencies, such as the Social Security Administration.


Forgery occurs when one forges another person’s signature to obtain property. For example, a nursing home resident could sign the residence name on other documents to gain access to the resident’s bank accounts.

Undue Influence

This is often the most stressful form of financial abuse with the other types of financial abuse listed above, there may not be any sort of threats made to the resident. However, with undue influence, a person could threaten the resident with daily necessities such as prescription medication or food to get what they want. For example, a nursing home employee may tell the resident that they are not going to provide the resident with food unless the resident pays the employee $10,000.

Elderly woman holds hands over face after financial abuse

Who are the perpetrators of financial abuse in California?

It is often very easy to spot who the potential perpetrators are in financial abuse matters. Some of the most common types of perpetrators include:

  •  Family Members
  •  Friends
  •  Caregivers
  •  Nursing Home Residents
  •  Nurses
  •  Doctors
  •  Neighbors

If you suspect that any of the above have taken part in some type of financial abuse, give us a call today to discuss how you could recover compensation.

How do I prove financial abuse in California?

To prove elder abuse, you must show that the abuser knew or should have known that the elderly were going to provide personal property or real property. This means there must be some sort of intent on the abuser’s behalf. Sometimes, it could get difficult to prove intent. For example, you must show that the person had a malicious intent on taking property.

 We recommend that you consult our elder abuse attorneys for more information on how to prove abuse in California. Financial abuse could be a bit trickier to prove than physical abuse since there may not be any remnants, such as bruising or scratches that you could easily point to as proof. But, there may be other ways of proving financial abuse. For example, you could show:

  •  The title of financial documents have now changed to another person’s name
  •  The person has now taken possession of the personal property
  •  Demand of all payments were made

What makes the elderly susceptible to financial abuse?

  • Wealth: wealth, including personal property and real property is what attracts perpetrators to the elderly. The elderly have at some point paid off a significant amount of assets, which could be attractive to perpetrators.
  •  Trust: the elderly may have a trusting nature for the people caring for them, and are more likely to do favors for the people around them, including signing documents. 
  •  Mental capacity: many elderly may face cognitive difficulties such as Alzheimer’s. This may make them more susceptible to financial abuse as perpetrators are more likely to go after those with short-term memory since the elderly may forget who they were dealing with.

What should I do if I have been a victim of financial abuse?

  • If you have been a victim of financial abuse, you should report the incident right away to the proper entities. For example, if you experienced financial abuse at the nursing home by an employee, you should report the financial abuse through the nursing home. If you have experienced financial abuse through an extended family member, we recommend that you discuss this with your other family members.
  •  Contact your bank to block any action unless it is two-factor authentication. Nowadays, many banks are now requiring the elderly to come into the bank before making any drastic changes.
  • Consult your case with an experienced elder abuse attorney. An elder abuse attorney will have to look into the circumstances of the abuse to see how the perpetrator could be held accountable. Sometimes, the perpetrator would have gotten rid of the personal or real property immediately after acquiring it. Our attorneys will trace all bank accounts and personal property to determine who the perpetrator is.

Financial Abuse Attorney Near Me

It is unfortunate in this day and age that the elderly have now become susceptible to financial abuse. Our attorneys could help. If you or someone you know has been financially taken advantage of, give us a call today to discuss. 

We offer complimentary one-on-one consultations to discuss your case in depth and determine what steps we should take to make sure that you get the best legal representation. Also, our attorneys are contingency fee attorneys and do not require any compensation upfront. Our attorneys are essentially risk-free, so give us a call today to set up a one-on-one with our experienced legal staff.

*** Disclaimer: This page, created by Heidari Law Group, is intended for educational purposes only and provides a broad overview of legal principles. It should not be considered specific legal advice. Your use of this site and review of this material does not establish an attorney-client relationship with Heidari Law or any of its members. Laws are subject to change, and therefore some information presented here may not reflect current legal standards. All logos and images on this site are the property of their respective owners and are used only for illustrative purposes; their presence does not indicate endorsement or affiliation. Please respect the copyright restrictions of these images and logos. If you have concerns about copyright infringement or require proper attribution, contact us immediately. We are committed to honoring intellectual property rights and will respond promptly to any issues.

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Sam Heidari

Sam Ryan Heidari

Sam Heidari is the founding principal of Heidari Law Group, a law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and employment law with offices in California and Nevada. Sam Heidari has been practicing law for over 11 years and handles a wide range of cases including car accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and product liability. The Heidari Law Group legal firm is known for its comprehensive approach, handling cases from initial consultation through to final judgment. Sam Heidari is dedicated to community involvement and advocacy for civil liberties.

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