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Financial Predators and Elder Abuse

In this video senior counsel describes a case scenario where a younger woman marries a vulnerable elderly man in order to swindle him out of his money. The issues canvassed include testamentary capacity, undue influence and the level of capacity necessary to marry.

Transcript

I want you guys to picture this scenario older man, 85, Alzeimer’s, testicular cancer. He has great kids, but they’re not equipped to handle him at home anymore so they put him in a retirement residence. They come to visit him often.  They see him on the weekends, every weekend. They see him in the evenings when they can. But for the most part, he’s sitting in his room alone. He’s watching the paint dry. He’s lonely, he’s vulnerable. And, he’s missing something in his life. He used to be active.  He used to go to work everyday. But now he’s just sitting and doing nothing.

So he goes down to the coffee shop, he grabs a coffee. And a very lovely waitress comes over to see him. She’s 35 years his junior, and she talks to him. As she talks to him he finds that she’s flirting a little bit with him. And she’s enamoured with him. And she laughs at all his jokes and she smiles and they have a really good time.

So he figures the next day, he comes down and he grabs a coffee. And she comes and this time she says: “You know you’re a really nice guy.  Let’s go out tonight!”

So they do. And the next day he comes and he grabs a coffee. And this time she just doesn’t stand there, she sits down next to him. She puts her hand on his knee and she says: “You were really great last night.”

Now he doesn’t remember. But he thought, you know what, I don’t remember a lot of things so I’m sure she’s saying the truth.

And at the end she says: “Let’s go out again tonight!”

So they do. And the next day he comes for a coffee. And this time she not only sits next to him,  she not only puts her hand on his knee. She nuzzles against him and says: “You were absolutely fantastic last night! Do you remember that you said you loved me? Do you remember that you asked me to marry you?”

And he says, “I did?”

And she says, “I do!”

And they go out and they get married. And the next night they go on their honeymoon. The day after he comes to the coffee shop and she sits next to him and she says: “You were absolutely great yesterday. The best I’ve ever been with. And you know what, you were so romantic last night. Do you remember you told me you loved me more than anybody else in the whole world? Do you remember you told me you wanted to give me all your money? And you were going to cut out your children?”

And he said, “I did?”

And she said, “You did!”

Now he doesn’t remember but then again he has Alzheimer’s. He doesn’t remember a lot of things. So they went out to a lawyer, he signed a will. Cut out his kids and gave everything to her.

The sad thing about this story resembles many times fact as opposed to fiction. There’s a world of financial predators out there. They take advantage of elderly people They prey upon them. And that’s why so many of these cases end up in court.

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This blog is not intended to serve as a comprehensive treatment of the topic. It is not meant to be legal advice. Every case turns on its specific facts and it would be a mistake for the reader of this blog to conclude how it might impact on the reader’s case. Nothing replaces retaining a qualified, competent lawyer, well versed in this niche area of practice and getting some good legal advice.
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