Exploitation, abuse and neglect of seniors appears to be a costly problem. In September 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released its Cases of Financial Exploitation, Neglect, and Abuse of Seniors. Although “GAO could not determine whether allegations of abuse by guardians are widespread,” GAO did find extensive evidence of “physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation” of seniors. According to the report,
GAO identified hundreds of allegations of physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by guardians in 45 states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2010. In 20 selected closed cases, GAO found that guardians stole or otherwise improperly obtained $5.4 million in assets from 158 incapacitated victims, many of whom were seniors. In some instances, guardians also physically neglected and abused their victims.
Fortunately, Arizona law has protections for vulnerable and incapacitated adults that suffer from financial exploitation (theft), abuse or neglect. Arizona’s Adult Protection Act provides for civil and criminal penalties, including disinheritance of and double damages against the wrongdoer.
If you or a loved one is a victim of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, we can help. Our experienced Arizona probate attorneys provide aggressive and compassionate representation in virtually all types of elder abuse cases. Please contact us if you have any questions.