According to relatively recent statistics, the number of incidents of undue influence and outright elder abuse are unacceptably high both in Nevada and around the country.
Among people who are over the age of 60, 1 in 10 who are still living in their homes experience some sort of abuse, which can include physical and sexual abuse as well as emotional abuse. Furthermore, among those who are over 65, 20 percent, or 1 in 5, are taken advantage of financially.
Undue influence is not an easy thing to define with precision; however, it is one tool by which unscrupulous people take advantage of the elderly in order to get their money. Anyone, including someone who seemed to be a trustworthy friend or relative, can be the perpetrator of undue influence. Of course, strangers, professionals, salespeople, and even attorneys can also be perpetrators.
Likewise, a person need not be under any sort of physical or mental impairment to fall victim to undue influence, although it seems that those with some sort of mental or other limitation are more frequent targets.
Basically, undue influence is a form of emotional or mental abuse. A perpetrator plays on a victim’s weaknesses, fears and the like in order to convince him or her that the world is a certain way, even when it is not. The perpetrator will then present himself as the victim’s protector and, by gaining trust, will also get access to the victim’s wealth.
Undue influence is hard to notice at the time it is happening, simply because it is an ongoing, gradual violation of a person’s rights which is often perpetrated out of the public eye. Usually, undue influence is only noticed when financial exploitation has already begun. Still, an experienced probate litigation attorney can help a victim of undue influence or that person’s loyal family members get justice.