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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 24, 2018 11:41 AM
From: Senator Art Haywood and Sen. Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Financial Exploitation of Seniors Through Powers of Attorney
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation addressing the financial abuse that our elderly face when powers of attorney are exploited.

Government and private studies indicate that there are epidemic levels of financial exploitation of the elderly in our country. A primary weapon in this exploitation is the lack of transparency around power of attorney (POA) documents in which elderly individuals are principals. Currently, there are no statues in the Commonwealth that specify which parties have the right to question the actions of a person who has POA. This leaves it up to individual courts to grant the right to challenge or review POA actions.

The legislation adopts Section 116 of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPAA) to give specified individuals and entities acting in the welfare of a person the ability to petition a review of an agent’s actions under a POA. Roughly half of the states in the nation have adopted this by statute to the same effect to protect at-risk individuals. Section 116 is a counterpart to Section 114(h) of the UPAA, which has already been adopted in the Commonwealth. The two are designed to work together to protect incapacitated individuals. The adoption of this language is an effective means to reduce elder abuse by providing much needed transparency.

Please join me to bring an end to the financial abuse of vulnerable citizens in the Commonwealth.

Introduced as SB1207