There was a Government Affairs Forum at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce highlighting elder abuse earlier this month. 49th District Assemblyman Ed Chau spoke about the elder abuse legislation that he recently filed. According to Assemblyman Chau and Arcadia elder abuse attorneys, we are seeing more instances of elder financial abuse, partly due to a rapidly growing senior population.
Assembly Bill 381, one of the measures introduced, would allow courts to award attorney’s fees and costs to senior citizens who were victims of financial elder abuse. Assembly Bill 381 was passed by the legislature and is awaiting review by the Governor. Assembly Bill 477 would make it mandatory for a notary public to report suspected elder financial abuse. That bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting review by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Both bills are important to senior citizens and their families because they seek to enact laws that that are crucial to the protection and safety of an aging population.
According to the Census Bureau, California has the largest population of senior citizens in the United States. The population is expected to increase from 3.7 million to 6.4 million people in the next 20 years. Growing population along with the financial strength of the baby boom generation are two reasons why elder financial abuse is likely to increase in the years to come. Arcadia elder abuse attorneys are concerned that the problem is growing quickly.
Under current law, conservatees, trusts, and decedent’s estates that have been the victim of theft, bad faith misuse of a power of attorney or misappropriation are awarded double damages. Unfortunately, there are many cases where the cost to bring a lawsuit exceed twice the value of the estate. Thus, the victims can’t afford to recover what has been misappropriated. The purpose of Assembly Bill 477 is to give victims a way to protect their interests by recouping attorney’s fees if they are successful in litigation.
The role of a notary public is to lend integrity to important transactions of commerce and law via the verification of signatures and legal transactions. Because they are exposed to a large variety of legal documents, they are in a position to recognize and report potential elder financial abuse. Assembly Bill 477 will make it a requirement that notaries do report cases of potential elder financial abuse.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse, financial elder abuse, physical elder abuse, annuity fraud, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud cases. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse, or financial fraud then contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org