Over the next 50 years, $41 trillion is expected to be transferred by the baby boomer generation. According to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorney’s (NELA) survey of Elder issues, the top five concerns voiced by individuals 35 and older are:
- 55% losing physical health
- 37% running out of money
- 32% losing mental health
- 25% having the need of someone else caring for them
- 24% loss of memory
Money does not solve family relationships; it may merely be a symptom of the problem. Money can aggravate and complicate relationships and circumstances.We have seen the pursuit of someone else’s money lead to the neglect of elderly clients. Dependence on others may result in feelings of vulnerability and can lead to exploitation.
- 85% of perpetrators of financial exploitation of the elderly are close relatives.
- 10% of those who prey on the elderly are “friends,” neighbors, or service providers.
Children, “friends,” heirs and charities may have different perceptions of what their relationship is with their loved ones and relatives, what constitutes quality of life, and appropriate lifestyle and finances. Some take steps to control the lives and assets of others. See:
- Lee Hancock: “Mary Ellen’s will: the Battle for 4949 Swiss” Dallas Morning News:
- “‘Mary Ellen’s Mansion’: Friend Care – or Con?” ABC News:
Examples in which we have represented the elderly against their predators include:
Freeland obtains Court injunction over predators who preyed on elderly gentleman through a Conservatorship Proceeding
A child of an elderly gentleman sought our help after the child was contacted by an out of town insurance agent and banker concerning the child’s Father appearing with other persons trying to gain access to the Father’s assets. The child discovered predators taking advantage of the Father were convicted criminals, had gained access to the Father’s assets, spent thousands of his assets and income, made loans in his name and ran up his credit card bills. The predators tried to alienate the Father from his child so that the Father could be manipulated and they could continue to steal his income.
The firm sought the Chancery Court’s protection for the Father through a Conservatorship, obtained a preliminary injunction to stop financial transactions and keep the predators from the Father until the Father could be evaluated for his competency. The predators ignored the court injunction and were found in contempt of court.
Court-appointed experts evaluated the Father and determined he was not capable of managing his personal and financial affairs. Thereafter, the Court conducted a hearing and appointed the child as the Father’s conservator, under the Court’s supervision, that the persons who prayed on the Father were in contempt and if they came in contact with the Father they would go to jail.
- A World War II Veteran pilot and former “Blue Angel” Navy pilot was left to live in deplorable conditions as his health and mental capacity deteriorated. A “friend” took control of his assets and began writing checks to himself and his family. Neighbors alerted the family who used our firm, which utilized our chancery courts to regain control of assets, improve living conditions, and help restore health. Without the efforts of family, according to his physician, the veteran’s life would have been cut short. Since then, he has enjoyed celebrating many birthdays.
- A World War II veteran with phase 3 Alzheimer’s was in the care of his niece, who would not let him go home to his family in Tennessee, preferring to take him and his credit card to Mississippi casinos. The rest of the family stepped in and engaged our firm. Our chancery court got the veteran back to his family in Moscow, Tennessee, while his niece went to jail.
- A retired professor’s secretary realized how much money he had, as the professor lost competency through the onset of Alzheimer’s. The secretary took the professor to get a new will prepared by an out of state attorney, started going through his money, and left him in a hotel isolated from his family. Thankfully, friends and former colleagues stepped in and rescued the professor from his despicable living conditions and restored health through their attention and the authority of the chancery courts.
- A wealthy mother’s son began writing himself six-figure checks when she lost competency. Her daughter had questions and asked for an accounting of their mother’s assets. The request was ignored, but eventually, a judgment of $757,000.00 was entered for what the brother had taken.
- An elderly woman was kidnapped by a relative from an Arkansas nursing home. Her daughter, with the help of law enforcement, learned where her mother was. With the help of the chancery court and the local sheriff, our firm restored her to her family.
- Freeland helps widow maintain her independence and preserves multi-million dollar estate husband left for her.
As her husband’s health began to deteriorate, three of a couple’s four children sued them to gain control of their parent’s multi-million dollar estate and tried to leave their mother with insufficient funds to even pay her bills, maintain her small home or her modest lifestyle. The daughter who did not file suit brought the mother to our law firm for help. The Chancery Court appointed an independent conservator, secured the family’s assets and obtained an adequate allowance for the wife. After the husband’s death, the conflict was resolved, giving the widow the income and assets her husband intended for her. Post 17.05.24
For more information on elder law, please visit the United States Department of Justice’s Elder Justice website, which was created to help address elder abuse and financial exploitation of seniors:
Other helpful links include:
Medicaid Eligibility and Exemptions in Mississippi: