This blog has reported in the past about the apparent rise in financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in Minnesota by unscrupulous businesses. A recent case involving a Minneapolis coin dealer shows how brazen some of these businesses can be.
Twin Cities readers may be interested to learn that two state lawmakers have recently proposed legislation that would impose more rigorous background check requirements for individuals seeking court appointments to serve as guardians or conservators. Minnesota's Attorney General supports the measure aimed at reducing the risk of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.
Many of our readers in the Twin Cities area may have been paying particular attention to discussions about the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. It seems that some unscrupulous people will stoop to any level to enrich themselves at the expense of the elderly.
A bizarre case of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult may truly stun Twin Cities readers. The allegations of the 88-year-old male victim, if true, give new meaning to the term undue influence. The exploitation may have gone undiscovered if the elderly man had not been taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. His apparent disappearance prompted his family to contact police when they found themselves unable to reach him.
Twin Cities readers who have been following our discussions of financial exploitation may take interest in a recent story that demonstrates how the discovery of undue influence can lead to probate litigation. A recent decision concluded that a retired police officer exercised undue influence to goad an elderly woman into naming the officer as the sole beneficiary of her will. A Massachusetts probate court handed down the judgment in favor of the woman's rightful heirs, and it should be noted that state of Minnesota has similar laws pertaining to undue influence on its books.
Recently, Minnesota's Commerce Commissioner urged the families of senior citizens to use tax time as an opportunity to look for signs of financial abuse, and a recent insurance industry study may give Twin Cities residents extra cause for concern over the estate of a senior loved one. The study concluded that as many as 60 percent of cases reporting financial exploitation of vulnerable adults involved coercion or undue influence by a grown-up child.