Friday, July 16, 2010

Editorial: MI State Legislature Should Support Bills Protecting Elderly

The Michigan Office of Services to the Aging is urging the Michigan Legislature to pass a package of bills geared toward protecting the state's older adults from financial abuse.

Representatives of OSA met last month with individual legislators and testified before the House Senior Health Security and Retirement House Committee in support of the bills.

The bills, HB 4619, 4622, 4623, 4625, 6252, 5187 and 5193, are actually part of an even longer list of legislation pending in both the House and Senate.

It's unfortunate that so many bills are needed to address the problem of elder abuse. But if that's what it takes to attack the problem, then so be it. It doesn't matter, in a sense, what the order is for passing these bills, but they should be approved by both the House and the Senate.

•Require training for financial institution staff on financial exploitation, how to spot suspicious activity and how to report suspicious activity when detected.

•Expand the definition of abuse of vulnerable adults to include financial exploitation.

•Require financial institutions to inform account holders and provide written disclosure of the rights of joint account holders so that those allowing access to their funds understand that joint account holders have the legal right to use the account and funds contained in it as if it is their own money.

•Require courts to consider appointment of a conservator if a person under a guardianship has assets of more than a certain limit ($10,000). This is to prevent potential financial exploitation through a guardianship.

Full Editorial and Source:
State Legislature Should Support Bills Protecting Elderly Residents


Holly said...

I believe that it is crucial to prohibit one & the same person from holding the appointed position of both "guardian of person" and "guardian/conservator of property." In fact, they two guardians should not even be permitted to know each other.
Many... Professional, Court Appointed, Guardians/Conservators are intentionally neglecting, abusing, drugging & exploiting the vulnerable because they know there is little.. if any, court oversight(contrary to state laws. By controlling both person & property these Court Appointed thieves spend the wards money alleging it is on the ward and NO ONE looks. A separate financial guardian would eliminate some of that.

Anonymous said...

The problem the Guardianship racket is a small club. Large bonded banks and trust companies should handle the money not financial accountants.

A big racket it is.

Betty said...

I am concerned that anyone thinks appointing a conservator is protection against guardianship abuse.

What they're saying here between the lines is: familiy guardians steal - appoint a third-party "pro."


Tom said...

I agree with Betty. They're saying family shouldn't be conservators.

I, therefore, disagree with this editorial.