Hughes’ HB8 will reduce financial exploitation and protect Alaskans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — ASaturday, April 16, 2016, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska Legislature acted to improve the state’s power of attorney’s law to better serve our pioneers, elders and combat fraud.

House Bill 8 by Representative Shelley Hughes is in response to the problems caused in our current laws that hinder reasonable elder care powers of attorney (POA,) like allowing parties to be separated by state lines, among others. The measure carries a number of statute changes to better serve Alaskans by better defining state law and improving the statutory POA form.

“Older Alaskans are more susceptible to fraud and financial abuse for a number of reasons beyond their control as they age,” said Hughes, R-Palmer. “Alaska’s Adult Protective Services Division, Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman, Elder Fraud Unit in the Office of Public Advocacy all report allegations of financial exploitation. That’s where HB8 can help. Powers of Attorney are a common method of abuse.”

Hughes said her bill keeps our Power of Attorney laws customized to fit Alaska, specific to circumstances unique in our state, and eliminates the problems when the senior and POA live in different states. The bill also modernizes law to allow for 21st century proven and trusted methods of signature, and offers better protections by improving the selection process of duties delegated.

“We’ll have better definitions, remove areas of concern and help POA Principles make better decisions when assigning responsibility for their finances and property,” said Hughes. “We honor our elders and have an obligation to them and other vulnerable Alaskans to protect them. Thank you to my colleagues for passing this bill to safeguard Alaskans from financial fraud.”

HB8 takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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