How Will a New Illinois Law Protect Seniors?

In an attempt to protect senior citizens to a greater degree, a bill by Illinois State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) to deny inheritance to anyone convicted of assaulting their elderly family members was signed into law recently.

Wealth Advisor’s recent article, “New Illinois law denies inheritance to those who abuse elderly family members,” says with the current Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, an individual who is convicted of financial exploitation, abuse, or neglect of an elderly person is prohibited from benefitting from the victim’s estate.

Senator Crowe’s proposed legislation broadens the law to include assault, aggravated assault, battery, and aggravated battery against anyone over the age of 60.

“It’s disheartening that we need legislation such as this to prevent family members from taking advantage of their elders,” Crowe said.

“Seniors are targeted every day for their estate, and I’m proud to put this legislation forward to prevent abusers from benefitting after committing this serious crime.”

“Every day, we see the devastating effects of abuse of senior citizens, often by family members,” said Tom Gibbons, Madison County State’s Attorney. “I’m thankful to Senator Crowe and our legislators passing this important measure to prevent abusers from profiting from their abuse.”

Crowe has worked on other protective legislation for the elderly. She has created Illinois’ Elder Abuse Task Force. The state senator plans to be a member of the task force and to study senior mistreatment and protective services and laws. The task force will then report the findings back to officials.

“We hope not to merely punish cruelty, but to deter it with this law,” said Crowe. “The message for abusers should be clear: You get nothing.”

House Bill 347 passed the Senate and awaits the governor’s signature to become law. It would go into effect on January 1, 2020.

Reference: Wealth Advisor (August 6, 2019) “New Illinois law denies inheritance to those who abuse elderly family members”

Suggested Key Terms: Legislation, Elder Abuse, Financial Abuse, Elder Care

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