Elder exploitation is a serious issue. It encompasses one or several incidents including borrowing money without a person’s knowledge, pressuring someone to give another person money, falling victim to an unsolicited work scam, stealing valuable possessions, being pressured to buy something or pay a bill for someone, forging a person’s signature or using a person’s debit or credit cards without their knowledge and subsequent permission.
A senior who notices his or her finances dwindling or sees dubious financial transactions taking place should be encouraged to take steps to address these matters immediately.
If you notice that your parent’s caretaker or another person who seems close to your loved one appears to be living beyond his or her means, or has moved some of your parent’s belongings into their home, or if your parent mentions that they’ve been asked to change a will or other document, this is also an immediate cause for concern and should be brought to the attention of a legal professional.
BC’s provincial survivorship rules ensure provisions are in place to provide proper and adequate maintenance for surviving wife and children of a deceased person. If a will does not meet these survivorship standards, it may be challenged or contested.
If you have been disinherited, believe a will has been unduly altered or feel that a will denotes an unfair distribution of assets, you may seek to have the will contested. In some cases, the will might be deemed to be invalid or, after review, it may be varied. And if a will reflects improper influences or abusive attitudes, you could also take court action to have it varied.
Disputed estate claims can also involve reviewing and challenging transfers made by a deceased during their lifetime, such as placing assets into joint ownership, resulting in some family members being effectively disinherited.
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A power of attorney is a powerful instrument. When you give someone power of attorney, that person has permission to manage your finances. Depending on how the power of attorney is drafted, the person you name could simply manage your bank accounts, or could conduct large transactions, such as buying and selling real estate, on your behalf.
Sadly, in some circumstances, however, the person that has been given power of attorney abuses the trust and authority that has been awarded, resulting in complicated and usually costly legal and financial situations. Power of attorney abuse can also include forging the donor’s name on a power of attorney document or even forcing someone to create a power of attorney against that person’s wishes.
While a power of attorney privilege can be revoked, it unfortunately does not reverse any decisions or transactions made up until then. A civil litigation lawyer should be contacted to help you sort things out and hopefully recoup some or all of your assets or cash.
Undue influence is defined as when someone uses a situation or personal power over another person to get the other person to enter into a contract – something that the signer would not normally do without the added influence.
There are two types of undue influence exist in BC. The first has to do with disadvantageous transfers of property and the other involves the making of wills, and the results of both can be challenged in court.
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