Elder Abuse Litigation After a Loved One Passes
As people age, they become more susceptible to financial exploitation by those around them. These types of incidents are becoming more common and represent a growing problem in Chicago, the suburbs and the entire nation. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that their elderly loved one was the victim of financial exploitation until after the loved one’s death. While it is generally difficult to recover this money after it has been stolen, it is not impossible. The Illinois Probate Act provides the deceased individual’s heirs and family members with tools to investigate any financial exploitation of a deceased loved one. These procedures allow family members to issue citations to the alleged financial exploiter which require that individual to produce requested documents and answer questions under oath regarding the relationship with the deceased.
Maintain Vigilance and Watch for Signs of Elder Abuse
Many times, a thief or abuser will exert undue influence over an elderly person, coercing them into signing a new will or trust or changing the beneficiary designations or ownership title on some or all of their assets. If a family discovers that their loved one was the victim of this type of elder abuse, they can file a lawsuit asking the court to revoke any wills, beneficiary designations or other asset transfers which were the product of an abuser’s coercion or nefarious influence.
If the court finds that a will or asset transfer was the product of undue influence or that the deceased individual did not have the necessary mental capacity to execute the will or make the transfer, declare the will or trust or an asset transfer void. If the court declares a will or trust void, the Estate will be distributed according to the prior will or trust. If a transfer is void, then the court will enter an order directing the people who benefited from the transfer to return the money or assets to the estate.
Contact an Experienced Chicago Elder Law Attorney
The attorneys at Hays Firm, LLC have immense experience with in will contest and trust contest disputes and other types of claims brought by families to recover the assets of a loved one who was the victim of elder abuse. We represent the heirs who are attacking a will or trust or other asset transfer. We also have cases in which we contend that the will, trust or asset transfer executed was a valid expression of the elderly person’s wishes. If you have any questions regarding a deceased individual’s assets, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to discuss your options with you.