Have You Seen Last Will and Embezzlement

Posted on

Mar 26, 2013

Book/Edition

Florida - Southwest

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A few weeks ago I was invited to a screening of the film Last Will and Embezzlement. The documentary, produced by filmmaker, Pamela S.K. Glasner, underscores the serious and imminent danger of elder exploitation and victimization after her own father, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was victimized. An individual, who befriended her mother, architected a series of events resulting in a bogus power of attorney which allowed the revision of wills and advanced directives eventually allowing complete control over her now-widowed fathers assets.
Entertainer Mickey Rooney's plight with exploitation by a family member is also featured in the film. The 90 year old actor was granted protection from his step-children after he personally filed a case against them charging emotional and financial abuse. Through his civil action, Mr. Rooney was granted court-ordered protection and conservatorship of his estate. Later, in his testimony before the United States Senate urging for tougher laws to protect the elderly from fraud and exploitation he said If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.
Frustration and anger over what happened to her father prompted Ms. Glasner to produce the film with the hopes of preventing exploitation of other vulnerable adults and those who care for them. Additionally, her hope is to bring exposure to the need for more effective legislation to protect the elderly. I came away from the viewing with a greater appreciation for the plight of caregivers trying to protect loved ones who may not be competent to identify financial exploitation and abuse. The law provides many new vehicles and methods people can employ to help safeguard against exploitation. However, many people have not reviewed their legal documents for years and they may be outdated or no longer effective in achieving long-term goals. Many of us are too trusting of others and not vigilant about keeping our private information safe from identity theft. The film impressed me as a valuable tool to help educate the public about the ever-present danger of victimization and abuse. With that goal in mind, Senior Choices purchased a copy of the film and is scheduling viewings to help educate and empower the public to combat financial abuse and exploitation. If your organization or community would like to schedule a viewing of Last Will and Embezzlement, contact Senior Choices of Southwest Florida toll-free at 1-866-413-5337. If you suspect elder abuse, neglect or exploitation call the Elder Abuse Hotline toll-free at 1-800-962-2873 (1-800-96-Abuse). Senior Choices of Southwest Florida is an area agency on aging which contracts and receives funding from the Department of Elder Affairs to provide services to people age 60 and over and those who are disabled.

Editors Note: Submitted by Marilyn Gregory, Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Senior Choices of Southwest Florida.

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