People who abuse their powers of attorney fall into a grey area in the law. But the state senate has moved to make the issue black and white.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services has asked for the law to be passed after finding it hard to prosecute people who use undue influence to move money and other assets out of the estates of older people–for personal gain more than for the benefit of the person they’re representing.
Farmington Senator Kevin Engler says his bill will give prosecutors a specific tool to use against this kind of elder abuse. He says somebody needs to protect elderly Missourians who think they’re doing the proper legal thing by giving someone their power of attorney. He says some schemes cost the state thousands of dollars in Medicaid payments when people with powers of attorney redirect Social Security checks to their own accounts instead of to the nursing home. .
The bill has to get through the House before the governor can consider signing it.