Friday, February 15, 2008

Rep. Marc Corriveau Michigan Steps Up to the Plate

Michigan,USA Imagine working your whole life to build a comfortable retirement for yourself, only to have everything snatched away by the very person who is supposed to be looking out for your best interests.

This is the reality that thousands of Michigan seniors face every year after they've been financially exploited by their caregivers. Elder abuse is a serious problem plaguing our seniors. It ranges from abandonment and neglect to emotional and physical abuse to financial exploitation.

On Monday, I unveiled the Elder Financial Protection Act, which will strengthen protections for Michigan seniors and help stop elder abuse.
One part of the plan requires employees of banks, credit unions, savings and loans, and savings banks to report suspected elder abuse. Financial institutions are an excellent line of defense for our seniors. The relationships that tellers develop with their regular customers position them to notice irregular financial activity. If an elderly customer suddenly changes his or her spending and saving habits, it could be a sign that someone is trying to steal their savings.

Another part of my plan will require financial institutions to provide joint accountholders with a written summary of their rights. Seniors often are encouraged to add another person to their bank accounts, but don't always understand that doing so gives that person the right to withdraw all of their money.

There are horror stories about joint accountholders draining all the funds from a senior's account and then disappearing, leaving the senior with nothing to live on. We must ensure that seniors fully understand what it means to add a person to their account, and that they know the risks. This plan will make sure that they do.

Another part of the plan will prohibit those convicted of elder abuse from inheriting from a victim's estate.

Right now in Michigan, a person can torture, abuse, neglect or steal from a senior and still inherit from that person's estate as long as the abuse isn't proven to be directly responsible for the senior's death.

Although an abuser's actions may not outright kill the victim, abuse takes a toll and can hasten a senior's death.

It's unacceptable that anyone who abuses an elderly person can turn around and profit off that person's estate. This plan will ensure that no one who abuses a senior can inherit from their estate. The plan also creates an Elder Death Review Team at the county level, which will investigate suspicious deaths to make sure that no one gets away with murder.

Our seniors have worked hard all of their lives. They've been productive members of the workforce, they've contributed to our economy, and they've raised their families. They've earned the right to enjoy their golden years in peace and security. The Elder Financial Protection Act will help ensure that they get to do just that.

State Rep. Marc Corriveau (D-Northville) represents Michigan's 20th House District, which includes Northville Township, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Wayne and parts of Northville and Canton Township. Contact Representative Corriveau at (877) 208-4737 or

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As usual E.A. will ask our readers to Contact Rep Corriveau and show your support for his efforts.

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