Maine’s elderly

Financial abuse or exploitation is a widespread form of elder abuse. Sadly, it is sometimes perpetrated by family members or caregivers.

A bill presented by my friend and colleague, Rep. Thomas Longstaff, would help prevent some of that. I was proud to cosponsor the measure, L.D. 968, which earned the support of a legislative panel last week. It would require financial institutions to clarify an older Mainer’s intent when opening a joint financial account.

As the law is now, a joint account passes to the surviving account holder regardless of what the deceased party states in his or her will. Under this bill, financial institutions would have to include the question in straightforward language on the forms used to open a joint account.

If we can spare one family the heartache too many experience because of a conflict over their loved one’s final wishes, I believe we should. I hope readers and my colleagues at the State House will join me in supporting the bill.

Rep. Catherine Nadeau


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