The Courts have long recognized that elder abuse is a systemic problem facing our senior population and have noted, "[E]lder abuse, including the financial exploitation of elderly individuals, is often a well hidden problem, in part because the perpetrator of such conduct is in many cases a member of the victim’s family." However, although elder abuse does occur, many allegations of abuse are unfounded and are utilized by family members who find themselves in a struggle over a relative’s estate prior to their relative’s death. Further, in Surrogate’s Court, which is often referred to as the "matrimonial court for siblings," we find heirs to an estate who assert claims of elder abuse following the death of their loved one in an unveiled effort to undo the testamentary wishes, gifts and intent of their deceased relative. Like so many issues we as attorneys are faced with, the allegation of elder abuse is often coupled with other legal matters and sadly many times have more to do with the family members of the elderly individual than the elderly individual themselves.
At Bashian P.C., we have fought for the rights of the elderly in highly-contested Article 81 Guardianships by seeking to have guardians appointed to assist the alleged incapacitated person and, following their passing, to defend their testamentary wishes and lifetime gifts. We are sensitive to the issue of elder abuse, both when true incidents of improper behavior occur and when unfounded allegations are asserted for the self-interest of relatives. In the event that you find yourself or your family member in need of assistance in regard to an incident of elder abuse or an unfounded allegation of elder abuse, let our experience work for you by calling one of our attorneys today.