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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 29, 2014 10:21 AM
From: Representative Ryan A. Bizzarro
To: All House members
Subject: Elder Abuse – Powers of Attorney
In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation – House Bill 2007 – that would amend Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to create a penalty for agents who abuse the power of attorney and provide for the seizure of discoverable evidence relative to the agent’s financial transactions on behalf of the incapacitated principal. Please note that my House Bill 2007 previously passed the House by a vote of 197-1 during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session.

Many of our elderly citizens who are plagued with dementia and other mentally debilitating infirmities rely on the good will of others to assist them with their financial responsibilities, and as such, grant the power of attorney to a competent adult. Unfortunately, some of these agents abuse their authority as power of attorney and misappropriate the principal’s funds. Under current law, the Power of Attorney Acknowledgement does not indicate that certain acts could lead to criminal prosecution of the agent. My legislation would revise the current acknowledgement to include language warning that non-compliance with the principal’s directives could result in criminal charges against the agent. Moreover, my legislation would permit the Office of Protective Services and local aging agencies to secure discoverable evidence as it relates to financial transactions conducted on behalf of any principal who is unable to consent due to incapacity.

Protecting all citizens in this Commonwealth – particularly a most vulnerable populace – should be a priority for all of us. I invite you to co-sponsor this important legislation.

Introduced as HB299