Elder law attorneys know that elder abuse cases can often be staggeringly complex. For example, Kentucky’s Courier-Journal ran a Preying on Seniors’ series online – one of the stories highlighted the intricacies of the case of 81-year-old Harriet Robbins. A retired church bookkeeper, Robbins was found in her home in “deplorable condition” — filthy and with no heat or power, despite her son John acting as her caregiver.
After Robbins’ death, her son inherited her $1.1. million estate. The inheritance was given despite John pleading guilty to neglect and elder abuse charges, as well as financial abuse – he admitted to stealing over $115,000 from Harriet over the years, and was sentenced to 10 years in the Kentucky State Reformatory. Still, because he had obtained his mother’s power of attorney before her death, he was awarded the inheritance with no contest.
Although there are many Kentucky laws to protect human rights, ethical dilemmas can still result. In the Robbins case, John’s restitution order to repay $115,000 back to his mother was then voided when the estate was transferred to him (as he was not obliged to contribute to his own estate). The case spurred Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, to create a bill to prohibit abusers from inheriting anything from their victims – unfortunately, the bill did not pass through Kentucky Senate.
A financial abuse case like Robbins’ is just one of numerous complex elder abuse cases. The elder law attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere work hard to ensure victims receive compensation, no matter how intricate the case. We also work to prevent elder abuse throughout Kentucky, at all costs.
To prevent a harrowing elder abuse situation like Robbins’, there are state-provided resources to draw upon. The Kentucky government offers financial protection tips for seniors. Some include:
- Establishing relationships with your banker, attorney, and financial consultant
- Documenting financial arrangements
- Including a compensation clause in any power of attorney
- Staying socially active and asking for second opinions
If you suspect an elderly relative or friend may be a victim of financial abuse, consult these elder financial abuse warning signs and report to the Kentucky elder abuse hotline. You should also contact an experienced elder abuse attorney like the lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere as soon as possible.
Our attorneys know how to navigate the challenges of complex elder abuse cases. Contact the Garcia & Artigliere Kentucky location to receive a free case review.