AARP Texas is proud to announce that three new laws, already signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, will help protect financially vulnerable Texans. The news measures were strongly endorsed by AARP, which worked closely with lawmakers of both parties to ensure their passage.

Preventing abuse as it happens

Financial institutions and securities professionals have new ways to report and address suspected exploitation of clients age 65+. This change is thanks to HB 3921, by State Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and State Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), which goes into effect on Sept. 1. The new law requires financial professionals to report suspected abuse to the Department of Family and Protective Services and the securities commissioner as well as place a temporary hold on transactions.

“By allowing banks and securities firms to place temporary holds on suspicious transactions, the Legislature is giving them a powerful tool to stop elder financial exploitation in its tracks,” AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson said about HB 3921.

Helping grandparents raising grandkids

Life just got a little easier for older Texans helping look after their grandkids. HB 1043, by State Representative César Blanco (D-El Paso) and State Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), empowers them to make important decisions on behalf of a child so long as “no objection is made by the child’s parent, conservator or guardian.” Effective immediately, grandparents can get a court order to authorize decisions running the gamut from health care and immunizations, to enrolling a child in a school, to authorizing athletic and other extracurricular activities.

Modernizing estate planning

These days, people leave more than just physical possessions behind when they die. They also leave a digital footprint–including photographs, documents, social media accounts and website–that present special privacy concerns. SB 1193, by State Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano) and State Representative Tan Parker, authorizes fiduciaries to manage digital assets in accordance with the user’s estate plan. Effective Sept. 1, users’ private electronic communications remain private unless they consented to disclosure.

Learn more about AARP Texas’ work on behalf of Texans age 50+ and their families. Or check out guides to help financial caregivers who manage money or property for those unable to do so themselves.

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