Elder Exploitation – Fla. Stat. §825.1035 – What is considered “Exploitation”?
On July 1, 2018, a new Florida statute, §825.1035, Fla. Stat., created a new legal process to protect vulnerable adults from exploitation. Exploitation is defined in §825.103(1), Fla. Stat., and includes:
- Using or trying to use a vulnerable adults funds or property with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of it, or to benefit someone else, by a person who is in a position of trust and confidence with the vulnerable adult, or by a person who has a business relationship with the vulnerable adult.
- Using or trying to use a vulnerable adult’s funds or property with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of it, or to benefit someone else, by a person who knew or should have known that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent.
- Breaching a fiduciary duty to a vulnerable adult by the vulnerable adult’s guardian, trustee, or agent under a power of attorney, which results in an unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of property; or if the fiduciary violates the following duties:
- Fraud in appointment;
- Abuse of power;
- Wasting, embezzling or intentionally mismanaging assets;
- Acting contrary to the vulnerable adult’s sole benefit or best interests.
- Misappropriating, misusing, or transferring without authorization, funds from a bank account where the vulnerable adult was the sole contributor or payee of the funds. This applies only to personal accounts, joint accounts created with the intent that the vulnerable adult has all rights to the money deposited, or convenience accounts in accordance with §655.80, Fla. Stat.
- Intentionally or negligently failing to effectively use the vulnerable adult’s income and assets for the vulnerable adult’s support and maintenance by a caregiver or a person who stands in a position of trust and confidence.
If you believe that a Florida senior may be the victim of financial exploitation, contact the attorneys at Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. to discuss your options and legal remedies to end the abuse. Call (941) 906-1231 to schedule an appointment.