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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Law Paves the Way for Greater Elder Abuse Prosecution

With the Governor’s signature making it official last Friday, Florida's senior citizens now have a new and effective tool to fight elder exploitation. The nationally groundbreaking legislation, which was the centerpiece of the legislative agenda this year for the Florida Bar's Elder Law Section, makes it easier for law enforcement to prosecute those who prey on our most vulnerable citizens by providing additional protections and harsher penalties.

Working with, Adult Protective Services, state law enforcement, prosecutors and State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, the Elder Law Section constructed legislation that includes:

  • A "presumption of exploitation" when a predator takes advantage of an elderly or disabled victim in certain circumstances.
  • Deleting a requirement that the property of an elderly person or disabled adult be obtained by deception or intimidation in order to constitute exploitation.
  • Decreasing the property threshold values for exploitation.
  • Creating criminal penalties for those who exploit through joint accounts that were intended for convenience.
  • Creating a constitutionally sound hearsay exception for victims, to allow an out of court statement by an elderly person or disabled adult to be admissible in certain circumstances.

This is long-awaited and critical law that is terrific news for our elder population.


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