The new blog and e-newsletter from the law firm of MacDonald Rudy
This e-newsletter you have received is the first of its kind in Hawaii such that it concentrates specifically in both the legal area of financial elder abuse as well as presenting topical issues in trust and in litigation which is relevant not only to fellow practicing managers of the probate bar but also will be of interest to financial planners, brokers, family law lawyers, general practice attorneys, medical practitioners and other professionals that proudly serve the elderly.
Financial elder abuse is a growing national epidemic and is not unique to Hawaii. As our local Kawaii population ages, many of our senior citizens have become and are becoming vulnerable to financial fraud committed not just by strangers but unfortunately, by their own family members or other trusted people that are well known to them. National statistics show that 1 out of 5 individuals over age 60 will become victims of financial elder abuse. Some estimates place the amount of financial fraud committed against our elderly and their heirs on a national basis in excess of 6.6 billion per year. That figure merely represents the loss from fraud by family members and others exploiting a trusted relationship.
It is no wonder that elder abuse is grossly unreported, and the amount of cases filed involving improperly procured deeds, joint bank accounts, wills, trusts and bequests, are a tiny fraction of the civil fraud that is committed by Hawaii’s elderly population annually.
Our law firm consults and advises elderly individuals as well as their heirs in cases involving conversion, embezzlement, contested guardianships, conservatorships and improperly procured wills and trusts. Elderly financial abuse after all effects not only the elderly but their heirs and loved ones who often depend on an inheritance or other assistance from their parents, grandparents or other relatives during their lifetime only to see it stolen from them.
Our law firm is celebrating its 25th anniversary in August of 2017. We have grown to five full time attorneys that practice predominantly in the trust and estate litigation department litigating family property disputes and as well as other trust and estate matters. We have grown since 1992 from a sole practice to one of the largest, if not the largest department that concentrates in the area of financial elder abuse. Due to the rampant abuses against the elderly we are ever expanding our services and trained personnel as quickly possible.
Over the last 25 years, we have litigated some of the largest fraud and abuse cases that Hawaii has presented itself with. We have made ourselves known through being involved in some of the largest will and trust cases in all islands, some as large in excess of $80 million to a few hundred thousand dollars involving improperly procured amendments to trust, improperly procured wills, stolen or embezzled assets or other improperly procured lifetime transfers or gifts. We have recovered for the benefit of our clients several hundred million dollars of assets over the last decade alone.
We have also continued to litigate disputes over guardianships and conservatorships of family members who are alive and well but are no longer capable of managing their own finances.
We work closely in partnership with other general practice attorneys, family lawyers, corporate counsel in family held businesses, estate planning attorneys as well as stock brokerage representatives, bankers, financial planners, insurance salesman, valuation appraisers, primary care and geriatric physicians, assisted living centers and other non-profit agencies in protecting against and prosecuting elder abuse and fraud claims throughout Hawaii. We continue our estate planning practice and many of the lessons we have observed and learned through our litigation practice area we have applied in our estate planning area as well.
We hope you enjoy our inaugural issue and look forward to working with you again in the future. We welcome your comments and suggestions regarding this newsletter. All questions and comments can be emailed to Michael Rudy in care of [email protected]