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Making Progress in the Fight Against Exploitation

In recent informative videos, we discussed exploitation and the steps that elder law attorneys are taking to protect vulnerable citizens and seniors from abuse and undue influence. We also discussed a new modified statute in Florida that allows for the disinheritance of people who are convicted of exploiting vulnerable adults. Unfortunately, abuse, undue influence and exploitation continue to happen far too often.

December 17, 2021 — by Ellen S. Morris

In recent informative videos, we discussed exploitation and the steps that elder law attorneys are taking to protect vulnerable citizens and seniors from abuse and undue influence. We also discussed a new modified statute from this past year’s legislative session in Florida that allows for the disinheritance of people who are convicted of exploiting vulnerable adults.

As members of The Florida Bar Elder Law Section, I, and my partner Howard S. Krooks, are proud to have been among the strongest advocates for this legislation to help protect vulnerable adults and seniors in Florida from exploitation and abuse.

Recent news stories, such as the University of Florida professor who was found guilty of exploiting his elderly mother and sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution, is a perfect example of how the Elder Law Section’s efforts to fight exploitation have proven to be successful. Now, if a person is convicted of stealing money from or exploiting a family member, in addition to serving the sentence handed down from a judge, he or she will hopefully also be prevented from inheriting from the victim’s estate and trust. 

Unfortunately, abuse, undue influence and exploitation continue to happen far too often. As attorneys and advocates, we will maintain our fight for laws to protect the most vulnerable citizens among us. In addition to fighting for new legislation, the litigators at Cozen O’Connor represent clients who have been taken advantage of or are concerned about parents or other loved ones who are being exploited and are seeking remedy in the courts.

We all must remain vigilant to help protect our elderly and vulnerable loved ones from being taken advantage of by scam artists online or over the phone, and even from unscrupulous “friends” or family members out to do them harm. You can help by staying in close contact with your loved ones. Call and check on them frequently to ensure they are safe and not falling prey to exploiters. Nothing, however, replaces an actual face-to-face visit where you can assess the situation and make sure your loved ones aren’t being victimized.

If you suspect that an elder loved one is being harmed, abused or exploited, please call your local police, or 9-1-1 if it is an emergency, and then contact us right away for assistance by calling 1-800-ELDERLAW (353-3752) or (561) 750-3850.

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