There has been an aggressive effort in recent years by law enforcement agencies to combat the growing problem of elder abuse. It is a type of abuse that can be very difficult to prevent, since many of the abusers are people that the elderly person trusted before the abuse.
In some cases, the abuse comes from attorneys who have been hired to assist with the estates of elderly clients. A recent example occurred in the State of New York.
An attorney there had a complicated scheme to handle an elderly couple's estate for his own benefit. The couple apparently wanted their money to go to charity and their heirs. However, the attorney instead transferred ownership of their property to himself, as The United States Attorney's Office Northern District of New York reports in "Albany Attorney Admits to Stealing from Elderly Clients in $11.8 Million Estate Fraud."
The good news is that this attorney was caught and prosecuted. He has admitted his guilt and faces a potentially long prison sentence for his crimes. This is good because elderly clients should be able to trust that their attorneys will not attempt to cheat them out of their money.
Estate attorneys who would do this type of thing are a small minority. Elderly people, however, should be aware that these things happen, and they should make sure they hire attorneys who are trustworthy. If you are not certain about an attorney, ask people in the community who might have previously hired them or ask for a referral to another attorney for comparison.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plans or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Reference: The United States Attorney's Office Northern District of New York (June 11, 2018) "Albany Attorney Admits to Stealing from Elderly Clients in $11.8 Million Estate Fraud."