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Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Financial Advisers in Alabama Must Report Suspected Elder Financial Abuse

What constitutes financial abuse in Alabama?

Alabama is one of several states that has passed legislation requiring financial advisers to alert the state of suspected instances of financial abuse of the elderly.  Mandatory elder financial abuse reporting laws went into effect in Alabama, Indiana, and Vermont this past summer, while Louisiana’s similar law will take effect in January.  In addition to mandatory reporting in cases involving individuals over the age of 65, Alabama’s law also allows financial advisers to stop disbursement of funds from client’s accounts and provides advisers with immunity from civil liability. 

Protecting Alabama’s Elderly   

Alabama’s mandatory reporting law for financial advisers is an important first step in protecting the elderly’s funds.  Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission, believes that now more than ever we must take steps to prevent financial exploitation of the elderly.  According to Borg, the senior population is the one with considerable assets today.  This makes senior citizens a target for unscrupulous individuals.  By mandating the reporting of financial abuse, the state places financial abuse on the same level as physical and emotional abuse of seniors, both of which must be reported in the state. 

Financial Abuse in Alabama

Abuse is sadly experienced by thousands of elderly individuals across Alabama.  Financial abuse of the elderly in Alabama includes the illegal or improper use of a senior citizen’s property, assets, or funds, as well as identity theft or fraud committed against older adults.  Financial abuse can be committed by nearly anyone with access to the elderly individual’s funds or property, including nursing home staff, financial advisers, friends, loved ones, hackers, and others.  Abuse can go beyond mere taking to include instances of overreaching, wherein the abuser takes advantage of the elderly individual’s compromised memory or mental state to gain control of money or other property.

Financial abuse can be devastating for elderly individuals in the state.  Once the funds or property have been stolen, it can be hard to retrieve.  Mandatory reporting laws will hopefully cut down on instances of financial abuse.  If you or a loved one may have been the victim of elder abuse, contact an Alabama elder law lawyer as soon as possible.

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