New Legal Landscape of Elder Law
The U.S. House of representative has just approved legislation that would protect financial advisors who report financial elder abuse from lawsuits over breach of privacy. The law is designed to clarify what takes priority when dealing with the finances of the elderly, and adds another roadblock to prevent abusers from escaping civil and criminal liability. In California, financial advisors are already mandatory reporters of elder abuse, but if this new bill becomes law, it will help standardize the requirements across the country, and tighten a loophole that may have prevented some financial advisors from reporting their suspicions of elder abuse.
2016 has been a signal year for preventing financial elder abuse. FINRA, the Department of Labor, and the U.S. Congress have begun exploring and passing rules that can help reduce the risk of financial abuse. While a determined abuser is difficult to stop without direct legal action, these rules increase the chances that their activities will be discovered and reported, as well as increasing the penalties for those who are caught.
Financial elder abuse amounts to billions of dollars annually in the United States, and combating it remains an arduous task. Although laws and regulations can help curb abuses, it ultimately falls to the individuals in a senior’s life to help protect them from brokers, caretakers, and other who may try to gain access to their savings. Seniors present an easy target to fraudsters, who see them as both gullible and well-off, perfect marks to sell financial products to, steal bank information for, etc.
The Safe Senior Act, and other such initiatives, help build a network to protect senior’s finances, but the strongest and most important links in that network must be family and friends, who know the senior best, and can help counsel, advise, and protect them.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse, the California elder abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm can help. We have experience handling abuse by financial advisors, scammers, and insurance companies, as well as life insurance and annuity fraud. We can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.