Elder financial abuse is a considered a national epidemic. Financial institutions, including banks and financial advisors are advised to watch for “red flags” of potential exploitation and legally obligated to report suspected elder financial abuse. However, training to front line staff regarding financial abuse, undue influence and cognitive impairment is inconsistent. As a result, bank personnel, online banking fraud staff, and financial advisors are often uninformed and unprepared about what to look for. They don’t understand that financial management is one of the first life skills to go, or that elders lose the ability to protect themselves from financial abuse as a result of their cognitive decline. The presenters will explain how lawsuits against financial institutions which allow a theft or scam to occur may find some redress for an elder who has lost substantial sums to financial abuse and encourage the institutions to properly train their employees to prevent these scams in the future.
Holding Financial Institutions Accountable for Elder Financial Abuse
Kirsten M. Fish
Kirsten M. Fish joined Needham Kepner & Fish LLP in 2002 and became a partner in 2007. She focuses her practice on personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse litigation.
Kirsten is the co-author of “Litigating Financial Abuse Actions Against Institutions, Agents and Fiduciaries” in CEB’s California Elder Law Litigation: An Advocate’s Guide. She is a frequent guest lecturer, presenting the annual “What’s New in Tort & Trial” seminar in Northern California since 2010 and speaking on numerous topics relating to elder abuse litigation. Kirsten is also the Director of Writing Curriculum at Lincoln Law School in San Jose and has also taught Legal Research and Writing to first year law students at Lincoln since 2009.
Deena Zacharin, Esq.
Deena Zacharin has been an associate attorney with Stebner Gertler Guadagni & Kawamoto since 2015, focusing on elder neglect and financial abuse cases. Prior to joining the firm, Deena practiced in the areas of trusts and estates and conservatorship, representing professional and nonprofessional conservators.