Financial Abuse of Elderly is a Crime in Kansas
Thanks to a new law in Kansas, financial abuse of an elder is a serious crime and there are consequences.
Do you know someone who is being financially abused by a trusted person or power of attorney? It’s no longer a “family issue.” It is a crime.
A law was passed during last year’s legislative session. It makes it a crime to take money from elders who are 70 years or older and for powers of attorney to misuse funds.
Indicators of financial abuse
- A recent contact expresses an interest in finances, promises to give care, or cozies up with the elder.
- A relative or caregiver has no visible means of support and is overly interested in the elder's financial affairs.
- A relative or caregiver is hesitant to spend money for needed medical treatment for the elder.
- The utility and other bills are not being paid.
- The elder's placement, care, or possessions clash with the size of his or her estate.
- A relative or caregiver isolates the elder, makes excuses when friends or family call or visit, and does not give the elder messages.
- A relative or caregiver gives unlikely reasons about finances, and the elder is unaware of or unable to explain the arrangements made.
- Checking account and credit card statements are sent to a relative or caregiver and are not open to the elder.
- At the bank, the elder is escorted by a relative or caregiver who refuses to let the elder speak for him- or herself. The elder appears nervous or afraid of the person going with him or her.
- The elder is concerned or confused about "missing money."
- There are suspicious signatures on the elder's checks, or the elder signs checks and another party fills in the payee and amount sections.
- There is an odd amount of banking activity, mainly just after joint accounts are set up or someone new starts helping with the elder's finances.
- A will, power of attorney, or other legal document is drafted, but the elder does not understand its effects.
Where to report abuse
In the event financial abuse or any type of abuse is suspected, please contact the following right away:
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- Another resource for you is LeadingAge Kansas, an association of 160 not-for-profit aging services providers that serve the needs of aging Kansans. LeadingAge Kansas advances policies, promotes practices and learning that empowers their members to help seniors live fully as they age.
- Check out the KLS Services for Seniors page.