Legislation to help prevent financial abuse of elderly passes both Virginia Senate and House

Ralph Northam

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2019 file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, center, arrives to deliver his State of the Commonwealth address during a joint session of the Virginia Legislature in the House chambers at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Legislative elections in Virginia on Tuesday, Nov. 5 will determine whether Democrats gain control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – Bills granting the ability for Virginia courts and Commonwealth Attorneys to punish those who financially abuse the elderly have cleared the Virginia House and Senate.

According to a release from Wise County Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp, Senate Bill 261 and House Bill 1166 were introduced by Senator Ben Chafin and Delegate Will Wampler.

The release says that under current law, courts can appoint an individual to manage the financial affairs of a senior citizen or adult who is incapable of doing so themselves.

Currently, the court-appointed person must file reports to ensure that the financial affairs of the incapacitated adults are being properly managed.

The release says under the new legislation passed in the Senate and House, court-appointed guardians and conservators must sign, under oath, that the information they are reporting is truthful.

The bills were introduced after being recommended by the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Virginia Criminal Justice Conference (VCJC). Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp serves as the co-chair of the VCJC elder abuse subcommittee, the group responsible for authoring the bill.

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