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New law could protect elders from financial abuse

Published: Jun. 4, 2018 at 11:46 PM EDT
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As people grow older they often need physical and financial help from their loved ones.

Sometimes people advantage of that right here in North Central Florida.

A new state law could protect elders from financial abuse.

This month is Elder Abuse and Exploitation Awareness month.

Lawyers in Gainesville say they're using this as an opportunity to educate residents on the dangers elderly people experience every day.

"We all need to help each other when we're all going to go through it, it's inevitable, and we need to be of help to the people that can't help themselves right now, which one day will be me,” Nancy Wright, who facilitates the North Central Florida Senior Advocacy Network, said.

Wright, along with the Senior Legal Helpline, and Gainesville attorney Shannon Miller were looking over a law being proposed in West Virginia that would prevent those overseeing an elder's bank account from stealing money.

The legislation was originally proposed by the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar. Eventually, the law was passed to help Vulnerable Adults.

"They can go and file, without telling the person who has stolen the money and the judge can enter an order, it goes over to the bank and the monies can be frozen,” Shannon Miller, an attorney

The Vulnerable Adult can go to the courthouse by themselves.

They can also give permission to someone else to file the paperwork at the courthouse.

No attorney is needed.

The judge can also enter a no-contact order to prevent the exploiter from contacting the victim.

This new law will take effect on July 1st.

On June 14th, there will be an Elder Empowerment Event at the Gainesville Senior Center from 10 am to 1 pm. To RSVP contact Mandy Lopez at (352)265-9040 or lampoon@shands.ufl.edu