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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2016 12:21 PM
From: Representative Ryan A. Bizzarro
To: All House members
Subject: Elder Abuse – Powers of Attorney (Re-Introduction)

In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation – former House Bill 299 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session which was unanimously passed by the House – that would create a penalty for persons who abuse the power of attorney and provide for the seizure of discoverable evidence relative to the person’s financial transactions on behalf of the incapacitated older adult.

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 person acting as power of attorney. 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