In previous posts this blog has discussed the increasing occurrence of financial scams targeted against the elderly in Virginia. Most of those scams, previous blogs have explained, are perpetrated by shady businesses and common criminals.However, there is an even more disturbing source of financial scams against the elderly that has recently gained attention in the media. That source is people entrusted to carry out a person's estate planning decisions. Court-appointed guardians and conservators have recently been caught preying on senior citizens for financial gain.
Anyone who has taken a U.S. history class in Virginia knows who Rosa Parks is. She played a monumental role in the civil rights movement and gained it national attention. She has once again gained the national spotlight. However, this time it is for a different reason.
Financial scams and other fraud-related crimes in Virginia are often directed at senior citizens. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, senior citizens are not as likely as other people to report financial scams, which may be one reason why they are likely to be victims. In fact, the FBI has reported that about a third of the victims of telemarketing-related scams are 60 years of age or older.
Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a bill that permits asset-protection trusts in the state of Virginia. Only 12 other states in the country offer them. Asset-protection trusts provide a way for wealthy individuals to protect their assets from legal claims in the event that they or their companies are sued.
According to a woman who recently filed a lawsuit claiming breach of fiduciary duty, four sheriffs who were responsible for the administration of her grandmother's estate mismanaged it. The woman claims that this mismanagement caused her to lose a family inheritance of nearly $70,000.