AARP wants to strengthen Alaska’s power-of-attorney law to better protect vulnerable older people from financial exploitation.

Under power-of-attorney agreements, people designate trusted associates to make personal or financial decisions for them. But in the hands of an unscrupulous agent, such a document could become a “license to steal,” some legal scholars have said.

Diana Weber, Alaska’s long-term care ombudsman, suggests the state’s law should protect people who report suspected abuse, help seniors specify which powers they choose to grant and require agents to be accountable for working in the person’s best interest.

If you want the state to strengthen the existing law, contact your legislator.

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