If you believe your loved one has been abused or taken advantage of by their guardian, do not hesitate to contact the Oak Park guardianship litigation lawyers of Peck Ritchey, LLC. We dedicate our time and resources to protecting the rights and well-being of dependents. Your family member should not continue to suffer at the hands of a negligent caretaker. Let us help you pursue your lawsuit to keep your loved one out of harm’s way.
When a person can no longer care for themselves, a guardian is necessary to take on the responsibility on their behalf. Guardians must see that the dependent is provided with the care they need to thrive and maintain good health. Unfortunately, some guardians are negligent in their duties or abuse the person they’re supposed to protect. You have a right to pursue a case to contest the guardianship when that happens.
At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our guardianship litigation lawyers in Oak Park, IL, will advocate for your loved one and fight for the justice they deserve. We understand the devastation of discovering someone responsible for your relative’s care has been abusive or negligent in their role as a guardian. It’s overwhelming to consider filing a lawsuit to remove them as guardian, but it might be your only option.
For a free consultation and to learn more about what Peck Ritchey, LLC can do to help you and your loved one, call (855) 328-5787 today.
Guardianship Litigation Cases Peck Ritchey, LLC Takes
At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we have experience pursuing a range of cases involving abusive or negligent actions at the hands of a guardian. The cases we commonly take include:
- Financial exploitation – Financial exploitation involves the allocation or misappropriation of a person’s estate for personal gain by a trustee, guardian, or attorney.
- Breach of fiduciary duty – A guardian breaches their fiduciary duty when they fail to act honorably, honestly, and in good faith while carrying out their legal obligations.
- Elder abuse – Elder abuse can take many forms. The abused individual could pursue compensation for the losses they suffered during the physical, financial, or psychological abuse.
- Validity of a power of attorney or an advanced directive – Disputes between a guardian and an executor, attorney-in-fact, agent, or trustee can arise if one party tries to claim authority over another. Additionally, outside institutions might not recognize the validity of an estate document affording one of the parties responsibility for the care of the dependent.
- Citation to recover and discover assets – If it appears a guardian embezzled, concealed, or possessed property the decedent owns, a citation and investigation into the misconduct could occur.
- Removal of a guardian, agent, trustee, or executor under power of attorney – It might be necessary to pursue a case for neglect, abuse of power, or malfeasance to remove an agent, guardian, or trustee.
If you believe your loved one’s guardian took advantage of them in any way, contact Peck Ritchey, LLC to determine whether you have a case to pursue. One of our Oak Park guardianship litigation lawyers can review the circumstances and advise you about the available options for seeking legal action.
Common Signs of Elder Abuse
There are often warnings signs of elder abuse. The ones you should look for will depend on the type of abuse you suspect occurred. The most common are listed below.
Physical abuse involves inflicting bodily injury or harm on an older adult. You might notice signs, such as:
- Changes in mood
- Unexplained injuries
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Weight loss
Psychological abuse occurs when a caretaker repeatedly uses verbal or nonverbal acts to cause psychological pain, distress, or anguish in an older adult. The most common signs include:
- Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia
- Being fearful of the guardian or another individual
- Withdrawal from family and activities
Social abuse involves isolating someone to make them more dependent on their guardian. Signs your loved one could be the victim of social abuse include:
- Preventing contact with your loved one
- Limiting the elder’s access to social events and activities
- Controlling communication between you and your loved one, such as disconnecting the call prematurely or only allowing specific topics to be discussed
- Withholding mail and other written or digital correspondence between the elder and their family
Sexual abuse occurs when a guardian engages in unwanted and forced sexual contact with an elder. Common warning signs of sexual abuse include:
- Bruising or bleeding in the genital or anal area
- Inappropriate behavior between the guardian and your loved one
- Newly diagnosed sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Unusual or sudden changes in mood
Signs of Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Breach of fiduciary duty is common when a dependent individual has an appointed guardian responsible for managing assets. Common signs of a breach of fiduciary duty can include:
- Omissions or errors in accounting
- Selling assets held by the estate without approval from the court
- Failing to follow instructions in a trust or will
- Using the property for personal gain
Signs of Financial Exploitation
Financial exploitation can be difficult to notice, especially if no one other than the guardian has access to the dependent’s finances. However, there are signs you should look for if you suspect your loved one has become the victim of financial exploitation.
A common sign is when the guardian sells or transfers assets with no documentation or explanation of it being the dependent’s wishes. It might seem like the sale doesn’t further your loved one’s interests or provide financial stability for their future.
Significant withdrawals from a bank account can be another sign of financial exploitation. If you know the login information for your loved one’s online accounts, you should check them regularly to ensure there isn’t any unusual activity. Discovering the passwords on any online accounts that have changed without notice could indicate fraudulent activity.
Contact Peck Ritchey, LLC
Peck Ritchey, LLC has represented individuals who have suffered the consequences of a guardian’s negligent or abusive actions. Our Oak Park guardianship litigation lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience handling guardianship litigation cases. You can count on us to fight for your loved one and protect them from further harm.
Call Peck Ritchey, LLC at (855) 328-5787 for a free consultation if you believe your family member’s guardian took advantage of them and want to contest their guardianship.