Family Restoration to Protect the Elderly

Mary Coleman lay on the floor, crying hard enough to warrant her nephew, Steven King, to tell her to “shut up” while he and his mother watched television. Upon Ms. Coleman’s accident, her sister, Veronica King, took over six thousand dollars out of Coleman’s bank account. Though in the care of her own family, she was betrayed physically, personally, and financially.

Unfortunately, the physical abuse and monetary fraud experienced by Ms. Coleman is not unheard of; as a matter of fact, aged celebrities can be subjects of financial fraud and abuse. Actor Mickey Rooney filed a lawsuit which alleged his stepson, Christopher Aber (Aber), forced him to live in poverty while Aber spent the money Rooney should have been receiving from his Social Security and from residual checks from movie royalties. The lawsuit accuses Aber, as well as others, of elder abuse, fraud, and breach of fiduciary trust.

Mickey Rooney came forward with the lawsuit against his stepson after he spoke with congressmen from the Senate Special Committee of Aging. Rooney emphasized the importance of passing congressional legislation which would protect the elderly from fraud and financial abuse. In response, chairman of the aging committee, Senator Herb Kohl, re-introduced the Elder Abuse Victims Act and promised to introduce another bill geared toward elder domestic abuse at a later date.

An article by Justin M. Coretti, Regent Law Juris Doctor Candidate 2012, and Fall 2011 Elder Law student, examines whether the elderly are adequately protected from financial fraud through federal and state statutory regulations and how further preventative methods for monetary fraud against the elderly may be established in a local governments and communities. Section I delves into an explanation of what elder fraud is and the different types of fraud that affect the elderly; it also inspects statistics which demonstrate how often the elder are subject to monetary fraud – sadly, even from their own family members. Section II examines federal statutes and programs on elder fraud and how the federal government attempts to prevent and rectify elder abuse. Statutes and programs from the states of Florida, Arizona, and New York are examined in order to observe what a few states have attempted in response to monetary abuse against the elderly. Lastly, Section III presents possible remedies and preventative measures on how to prevent elder fraud and abuse.

This article illustrates that the best way to prevent elder financial fraud and abuse is to educate and inform the elderly on how to protect themselves from exploitation through a multi-faceted approach. Families must be about protecting their elderly members, rather than abusing them, or taking their money. A mindset of family restoration makes all the difference in protection of any family member.

Read the entire article here.

No comments:

Post a Comment