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Asset Freeze Law: An Update

Protecting Vulnerable Adults With Asset Freeze Law

by Shannon Miller, ESQ
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The Asset Freeze Law Overview

On July 1, 2018 the new law, Injunction for Protection from Exploitation/Asset Protection for Vulnerable Adults, went into effect.  Under the new injunction statute, using the current framework for injunctions against domestic violence, a circuit court can provide a process to “stop the bleed” of assets where vulnerable adults are being victimized.  This injunction provides another tool to stop exploitation and undue influence of seniors and those with disabilities.  Once again, Florida is at the forefront of protecting our most vulnerable citizens from exploitation.  There is no comparable process anywhere in the U.S.

 

The Outcome of the Asset Freeze Law

Since July 1, 2018, victims of exploitation have been able to walk into court without an attorney or court filing fees and get an asset freeze from the court even if their money has been moved to another person’s account.  This new process has saved victims across the State of Florida their life savings and prevented predators from succeeding in exploiting vulnerable adults.

 

The Miller Elder Law Firm Role (TMELF)

TMELF’s Shannon Miller co-drafted the legislation for the Elder Law Section and the North Central Florida Senior Advocacy Network.  Both Shannon and Scott Anderson, have provided extensive education on the statute for the layperson and attorney.  They have also helped educate the clerks’ offices across Florida along with judges and legal aid advocates and assisted in the development of procedures and forms to implement the new law.  TMELF has taken on several complicated cases and been successful in stopping exploitation against our clients. While legislation has been in effect a little more than six months, we have used the new statute eight times.
Shannon Miller is a founding member of the NCFSAN and the legislative co-chair of the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar, and continues to testify and advocate before the legislature on issues related to the protection and empowerment of seniors and those with disabilities.

 

Advantages of the Asset Freeze Law

The law gives judges a wide range of remedies to stop exploitation including:
  • removing an exploiter from home of victim.
  • freezing assets.
  • setting aside documents that were obtained illegally.
  • keeping predators from certain facilities indefinitely (in some cases).
  • and other solutions the court may find appropriate.

 

The Next Step For Asset Freeze Law

There are certain issues in the statue that need to be addressed and the Elder Law Section will introduce a glitch bill to help make the process and statue better.
The Miller Elder Law Firm excels in bringing resolution to exploitation cases. We have helped hundreds of clients through this process to stop exploitation and recover losses.  If you or a loved one suspects exploitation in any form, take swift action.  You may contact our office for a consultation at 352-379-1900 or complete the form below. We look forward to helping you and your family.