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In recent years, older investors have increasingly been victimized by securities and other types of fraud and breaches of fiduciary duties. This in large part is related to the concentration of wealth held by older investors and, in many cases, their lack of investment sophistication and the ease, as these older Americans increase in age, with which they stand to be exploited by individuals who occupy positions of trust and confidence. These fiduciaries would not only include stock brokers, investment advisors, accountants, attorneys and bankers but even the elder person’s own relatives. Fraud and breach of fiduciary duties on older investors is particularly troubling because not only have they often amassed their investment funds over the courses of decades, but, they are generally beyond their earning years and have little or no ability to rebuild their retirement funds.
Over the years, we have seen acts of financial abuse which have materially adversely affected and, in some cases, completely financially destroyed a retired person or family’s ability to be self-sustaining. Many times this shifts the financial responsibility for family members to the elder person’s children or other relatives; a circumstance that was not anticipated and for which they are not equipped to handle. Equally devastating is the emotional toll that flows from acts of elder abuse.
Another issue that is troubling is the fact that many elder individuals or their relatives do not discover the fraud or breach of duty until it is too late to do anything about it. By this we are referring to the fact that the statute of limitations may have run, the entity that sold the investment has gone out of business or the individual involved has disappeared. It is for these reasons that we encourage retired individuals or their relatives to seek out a qualified professional to review any circumstance or investment about which they have any question, doubt or just a bad feeling. It is much better to be safe rather than sorry.
With this section of our website and the “Elder Abuse” section of our blog, we will endeavor to provide members of the elder community and their families with information that we hope they will find useful in preventing elder fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and other types of financial abuse.
However, if you feel that you or a member of your family has lost money as a result of elder abuse, please feel free to contact us for an initial free consultation.