Is Missouri Law a Model for Others?

Six months ago, Missouri passed a new law designed to protect seniors from financial exploitation.

Now, experts in the state have begun to analyze the results and say that while it has not led to any arrests, it has had an impact.

Financial Advisor Magazine quoted Jason Kander, Missouri’s Secretary of state, who said,  “Financial professionals are telling us that they have more confidence in their clients’ ability to invest, too, because they’re now empowered to hit the pause button if they think someone is being exploited.”

The law allows broker/dealer representatives to report suspicious activity and hold wire transfers for up to 10 days if they feel a client is being exploited. Previously broker/dealer representatives were prohibited from reporting suspicious activity by privacy laws and contract terms.

The Missouri law applies to adults older than 59 or anyone between 18-59,  with a verifiable mental or physical disability. The law mirrors similar legislation in Washington state and Delaware.

The law does not cover investment advisors, meaning an advisor reporting suspicious activity or delaying the execution of client requests may still be held liable for resulting losses or any other damages. Based on the early results there appears to be some sentiment to expand the law to investment advisors.

Nationally, it is estimated that fraud costs senior citizens $2.6 billion annually. Bills similar to the Missouri law have been proposed in Indiana and Nebraska. Whether the legislation will become a national standard is still open to debate, but protecting seniors from abuse and fraud should be everyone’s goal.

At Medina Law Group our experts in elder law can help you protect your life savings against the skyrocketing cost of long-term care. And, enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having an effective plan in place for whatever the future holds.