Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults
In 2020, $50 Billion went out the door to exploiters.* Affecting one in five people, financial exploitation is an epidemic problem around the country, but is especially prevalent in Florida, with the largest growing population of seniors in the U.S. Florida is fortunate enough to have the most advanced laws to stop exploitation of our most vulnerable citizens.
*AARP 2021 Magazine
Late in life, changes in the brain often occur that make seniors especially vulnerable to the tactics of crafty exploiters. In recent studies, victims of exploitation demonstrated thinning of the cortical insula in MRI studies of the brain. This region of the brain plays a major role in risk assessment and also the ability to detect risk. People with this issue are not easily identified and often, their ease of persuasion and susceptibility to scammers are not noticed by those closest to them, until all or most of their assets have been stolen.
At The Miller Elder Law Firm we have a number of tools that we have created to take advantage of Florida laws, securing your assets, the first of which may be the Exploitation Injunction. We also use a Pre-Need Consent Against Exploitation, as well as provisions in our trust agreements that allow for your trusted people to protect your assets. These tools have proven enormously useful and popular with clients as more and more of the elder population become vulnerable to exploitation.
“Elder exploitation is an epidemic. In Florida, we have some of the most advanced and effective laws to stop exploitation.”
The Miller Elder Law Firm Helped Shape Florida’s Revolutionary Laws
In 2014, Shannon Miller worked with Florida officials to redraft criminal exploitation laws, creating new definitions of criminal exploitation that offered added ease in prosecuting predators, including pursuing charges of civil theft. This was revolutionary, not only for Florida, but for exploitation laws across the U.S.
In 2017, Shannon participated in the North Central Florida Senior Advocacy Network’s effort to draft the Exploitation Injunction Statute. This tool allows victims and their
advocates to go to court and freeze stolen assets. It also enables them to take money back from an exploiter more quickly without a protracted litigation process.
In 2021, the Elder Law Section of The Florida and the Attorney General’s office created new laws that furthered this fight against exploitation, making Florida the best State in advocating for the rights of seniors.
There are many more protective measures that we use to fight on the behalf of victims of exploitation, like civil theft, will contests, and Intentional Interference with an Expectancy. Rest assured with Shannon Miller’s hands-on involvement in shaping Florida’s exploitation laws, our team is able to guide you and your family in the steps needed to protect your against this horrifying crime.
It is important for everyone to know about the tools that are now available to stop exploitation and to plan an active role in preventing and reporting cases of exploitation. Having a support network you can trust and thorough estate planning are critical components to protecting you and the people you love from exploiters.