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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Elderly Senior's Extravagant Gifts Spark Litigation

It happens time and time again. An elderly person gives money or expensive gifts to someone who is helping them. In a famous case, Huguette Clark gave $37 million worth of gifts to her nurse, doctors and other caregivers.  Whenever an objection is raised to extravagant gift-giving, the recipient of the gift will say that the gift was given voluntarily. But were they? Or was the elderly person manipulated? How on earth can anybody tell?

An American court has decided to get to the bottom of the gifting by Ms. Clark, who died at age 109. The representative of her estate has demanded the return of the gifts, declaring that they were only given because Ms. Clark was manipulated by those around her. Click here to read more about this from lawyer Kyle Krull.

I'll be really interested to see what the court comes up with in terms of distinguishing between gifts that really are voluntarily given, and gifts that are only made when a senior is subtly (or not so subtly) influenced by self-interested people. As anyone with an aging parent can attest, determining whether a senior has been financially abused can truly be a tough question.

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