Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adult
As an attorney that handles abuse and neglect cases in Minnesota I have seen many forms of criminal activity. Unfortunately, there are situations where a resident in a nursing home or other type of senior care facility is taken advantage of and financially exploited.
The Health Care Bill of Rights, Minnesota Statute § 144.651, Subd. 25 allows competent residents may manage their personal affairs, or shall be given at least a quarterly accounting or financial transactions on their behalf if they delegate this responsibility in accordance with the laws of Minnesota to the facility for any period of time.
The Minnesota Vulnerable Adults Act Minnesota Statute § 626.557 establishings when mandated reporters need to “report” elder abuse and neglect:
626.557 REPORTING OF MALTREATMENT OF VULNERABLE ADULTS. Subdivision 1.Public policy.
The legislature declares that the public policy of this state is to protect adults who, because of physical or mental disability or dependency on institutional services, are particularly vulnerable to maltreatment; to assist in providing safe environments for vulnerable adults; and to provide safe institutional or residential services, community-based services, or living environments for vulnerable adults who have been maltreated.
In addition, it is the policy of this state to require the reporting of suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults, to provide for the voluntary reporting of maltreatment of vulnerable adults, to require the investigation of the reports, and to provide protective and counseling services in appropriate cases.
Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adult – “Financial exploitation” means:
(a) In breach of a fiduciary obligation recognized elsewhere in law, including pertinent regulations, contractual obligations, documented consent by a competent person, or the obligations of a responsible party under section 144.6501, a person:
(1) engages in unauthorized expenditure of funds entrusted to the actor by the vulnerable adult which results or is likely to result in detriment to the vulnerable adult; or
(2) fails to use the financial resources of the vulnerable adult to provide food, clothing, shelter, health care, therapeutic conduct or supervision for the vulnerable adult, and the failure results or is likely to result in detriment to the vulnerable adult.
(b) In the absence of legal authority a person:
(1) willfully uses, withholds, or disposes of funds or property of a vulnerable adult;
(2) obtains for the actor or another the performance of services by a third person for the wrongful profit or advantage of the actor or another to the detriment of the vulnerable adult;
(3) acquires possession or control of, or an interest in, funds or property of a vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud; or
(4) forces, compels, coerces, or entices a vulnerable adult against the vulnerable adult’s will to perform services for the profit or advantage of another.
(c) Nothing in this definition requires a facility or caregiver to provide financial management or supervise financial management for a vulnerable adult except as otherwise required by law.
To reduce the risk of financial exploitation you may want to:
• Conducting background checks on any individual who is handling the senior’s finances, or comes into senior’s home.
• Keep valuables in safety deposit box at bank or other safe place if possible.
• Keep copies of bills and receipts for expenses.
• Request regular accounting concerning any expenditures with copies of paid bills.
• Report suspected abuse to police, friend and family.
If you or a family member has been the victim of financial exploitation or any other type of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other health care residence, please contact attorney Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation.
This website is not intended to provide legal advice as each situation is different and specific factual information must be obtained before an attorney is able to assess the legal questions relevant to your situation.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility that serves the elderly in Minnesota please contact our firm for a free consultation and information regarding the obligations of the facility and your rights as a resident or concerned family member. To contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore, directly please send an email to KLaBore@mnnursinghomeneglect.com or call Ken at 612-743-9048.