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Protecting the Elderly from Financial Abuse

Several states have stepped forward to protect the elderly. A national move may be next.

Some people believe the federal government should step in and create a national law that protects the elderly from financial exploitation. The House of Representatives has begun the process, according to Think Advisor in "House Passes Senior Safe Act."

People who work at financial institutions and insurance companies often see suspicious transactions. If they report their suspicions to authorities, they open themselves up to potential liability, if it turns out that they were wrong. In fact, they may be in trouble even if they were correct, but the abuse cannot be proven.

To address this problem, several states have given financial institutions and the people who work there, immunity from liability, if they report suspected abuse to law enforcement or regulators in good faith. However, not all states have done so.

The Senior Safe Act works like the state laws that have already been passed. Those who work in financial institutions who, in good faith, report suspected financial abuse of the elderly to the proper authorities, are immune from liability for their reports.

This bill has passed the House and the Senate Banking Committee. It is now up to the full Senate and the President.

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