ELDER JUSTICE INCLUDING AT-RISK ADULTS Protecting those who cannot protect themselves

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1 ELDER JUSTICE INCLUDING AT-RISK ADULTS Protecting those who cannot protect themselves W I N T E R PAAM Elder Justice Plan ahead Michigan s Elder Justice (At-Risk Adult) Summit Thursday, June 13, 2013 Keynote speaker: Dr. Laura Mosqueda Genesys Conference & Banquet Center 805 Health Park Blvd. Grand Blanc, MI A large segment of the population began turning 65 in Over the next 30 years that population will grow to make up 20% of the US population. The group now being called the oldest of the old (85+) is growing rapidly. Crimes against this large pool of vulnerable people with money will rise. PAAM is prepared to help you meet the challenges associated with aging victims and crimes against the vulnerable. PAAM is announcing the formation of the Elder Justice and At-Risk Adult Project. Our primary purpose is to provide statewide training for prosecutors, adult protective service workers, law enforcement, and other partners. The project will focus initially on the development of the Michigan Model Vulnerable Adult Investigative Protocol. The project will then launch a series of regional trainings to help local communities develop methods of implementing a multidisciplinary solution to the complex problems surrounding these crimes. We will offer training in all areas of abuse and exploitation. We are available to assist in the development of Elder Death Review Teams, multidisciplinary investigation teams, and to provide legal and legislative support as we implement best practice to assist this growing population. We are available to conduct training for local banking institutions interested in new ways to safeguard senior assets. Catherine Emerson, resource prosecutor and Jessica Sutton, coordinator are available to assist you with any issues that may arise. We invite you to join our listserv (see page four). We will keep you informed of any news, webinars, laws or innovative techniques that arise. Reminder: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Saturday, June 15, 2013.

2 NEW EVENTS The Prosecuting Attorneys Association will team with Genesee County Prosecutor, David Leyton, the Genesee County Sheriff, Robert Pickell, Adult Protective Services and the State of Michigan to present the Michigan Summit on Elder Justice/At-risk Adults on Thursday, June 13, Dr. Laura Mosqueda, co-director of the UC Irvine Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect. The Michigan Summit is a one-day event. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Laura Mosqueda will be our Keynote speaker for the event. Dr. Mosqueda is a world-renowned expert in the area of elder abuse. As the codirector of UC Irvine Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, she offers in-depth insight to the causes and prevention of elder abuse. She has extensive experience developing, implementing and teaching courses on elder abuse for health care providers, social workers, law enforcement officers, judicial personnel, and prosecutors. This summit is for law enforcement, prosecutors, adult protective service workers, health care providers, policy makers, judges, civil attorneys, victim advocates, probation officers, educators, financial institutions and anyone providing services to the at-risk adult. The topics will be announced in February but will include: financial exploitation, current trends in prosecution, scams, and identifying medical signs of abuse in the aging. We intend to build on the huge success of last year s Summit hosted in Genesee County and attended by 250 people from all disciplines. If you have questions regarding the summit or have suggestions for speakers or topics please contact Catherine Emerson, Elder Justice Resource Prosecutor, at Registration will begin in March. Forms will be ed out and will also be available on our webpage at This seminar is MCOLES approved and qualifies for social work CE credits. MJTF will be available for this training. A small registration fee will apply. National Recognition: NAPSA Spirit of National Adult Protective Services Association Award to Bridget Vermeesch of Michigan. Bridget embodies the spirit of NAPSA and of APS! She is an excellent advocate for her clients, putting them and their needs above all else. She stands up for her clients rights and self-determination even in the face of strong community opposition, as she did when she opposed the guardianship of a mentally ill woman, who, thanks to Bridget s advocacy, was able to have her guardianship terminated, to leave the nursing home, and to return home to her beloved farm and animals. Ms. Vermeesch gained recognition from this national organization for her exceptional work. She is an APS specialist in Gratiot and Clinton Counties. 2

3 The new Durable Power of Attorney Law (Not a license to steal) DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY Effective October 1, 2012, a person who becomes an agent for a durable power of attorney must accept and acknowledge that this power is automatically limited in nature. It is no longer possible to have an unfetter access to the money of another. MCL The limits include: 1. Take reasonable steps to follow the instructions of the principal. 2. Act in accordance with the standards of care applicable to fiduciaries acting under durable powers of attorney. 3. Upon request of the principal, to keep the principal informed of his or her actions. To provide an accounting to the principal upon request. 4. Gifting assets from the principal s property is forbidden, unless provided for in the durable power of attorney or by a judicial order. 5. Maintain records of transactions as attorneyin-fact, including receipts, disbursements, and investments. 6. To be subject to civil or criminal penalties for violation of his or her duties to principal. 7. To be liable for any damage or loss to the principal. 8. To be subject to any other available remedy, for breach of fiduciary duty owed to the principal. Any language of exoneration will not cloak acts of bad faith or reckless indifference. It is not enforceable if inserted as a result of any abuse of a fiduciary or confidential relationship to the principal. 9. An agent cannot create a joint account or make a gift unless specifically allowed. You may want to inform your citizen s that it is wise to file new Durable Powers of Attorney to be better protected from theft. Prosecution is possible when a fiduciary clearly steals the assets of the principal. With the passage of 2012 PA 141 prosecution may be possible even where an exoneration clause is included in the document if the evidence shows bad faith or reckless indifference to the best interest of the principal. It is recommended that everyone file a new power of attorney. Check with the bank or institution in question. Experts anticipate that banks may not honor a durable power of attorney unless the requirements are met. The document must be signed, dated and witnesses by two people (not the agent) or notarized. The agent must acknowledge the responsibilities listed above, including language of liability. Gifts may not be given unless stated in the POA. 3

4 Tips to safeguard yourself or your loved ones --Register on the national Do-Not-Call Registry. --Check in often with the older person. Be sure to ask about any contacts they have had with strangers. --Freeze accounts at the first sign of suspicious activity. Quick action may preserve a lifetime of savings. Take precautions --Do not allow anyone in the home unless you know them. FBI list of Common Frauds - Telemarketing Fraud - Nigerian Letter or 419 Fraud - Identity Theft - Advanced Fee Schemes - Health Care Fraud/Health Insurance Fraud - Redemption/Strawman/Bond Fraud - Investment Scams - Internet Scams - Counterfeit Prescriptions Drugs - Funeral and Cemetery Fraud - Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products - Reverse Mortgage Scams - Medical Equipment Fraud --File a new Durable Power of Attorney under the new law. --If anyone is helping you with your finances make sure you have a third party monitoring the expenses. --Remember, the honest person will welcome the confirmation of a job well done. INFORMATION FOR YOUR COUNTY WEB PAGE See the new Scam Alert Bulletin February 1, 2013, First Addition 4

5 NEW LAWS The governor signed one of the annuity regulation bills recommended by the Elder Abuse Task Force. ANNUITIES PA 544. Effective June 1, Regulates annuity sales to make sure the product is suitable to the purchaser. 1. Requires agents to complete an approved training course before selling annuities. MCL Requires an agent or insurer to obtain information from the purchaser to determine whether the annuity would be suitable for him or her. MCL (1). 3. Precludes an insurer from issuing an annuity unless it has a reasonable basis to believe the annuity is suitable based upon the suitability information obtained from the purchaser. MCL (3). 4. Requires insurers to develop a review process to insure that an annuity is suitable for the purchaser before issuing the contract. MCL The PAAM Elder Justice Google Group is a newly formed listserv that will act as a forum and a resource for prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals to discuss issues of elder or vulnerable adult abuse, financial exploitation, scams targeting the elderly, solutions to problems revolving around elder abuse and more. More than that, it is intended to help all of us to work together effectively. With our pooled resources and efforts we can reduce the victimization of the elderly and vulnerable. This listserv will allow us to share information and ideas. We will be able to ask questions of colleagues across the State. It is hoped that increased communication will mean better results in these difficult and challenging cases. Membership to the Group is by invitation only. Contact the Group moderators to request an invitation. Catherine Emerson Elder Justice Resource Prosecutor Jessie Sutton Elder Justice Coordinator 5

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