Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and Disabled Crime Modified to Include Undue Influence

Estate Planning Practice Group

By Estate Planning Practice Group

Senior citizens and the disabled in Missouri will soon have additional protection from financial exploitation.

On July 11, 2012, Missouri SB 689 was signed by Governor Jay Nixon. SB 689 modifies the crime of financial exploitation of the elderly to include “undue influence.”

“Undue influence” is defined under the bill as:

“… influence by a person who has authority over the elderly or disabled person in order to take unfair advantage of the person’s vulnerable state of mind, neediness, pain, or agony. It includes improper use of various types of fiduciary authority.”

Under the bill, the Department of Social Services may now release the income and asset information of an individual in a licensed nursing home facility to the prosecuting attorney for purposes of investigation or prosecution of financial exploitation.

The bill further states that anyone who fails to turn over a Medicaid-eligible individual’s funds to the nursing facility where that person resides is guilty of financial exploitation. This typically occurs when an individual is receiving Medicaid and the representative payee for the individual’s Social Security income (usually a family member) keeps money which is required to be paid to the facility each month.

Missouri SB 689 goes into effect on August 28, 2012.

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