One in 10 Americans 60 and older have experienced elder abuse or neglect. In almost 60 percent of cases, the perpetrator was a family member, usually an adult child or spouse.
A new state law, backed by AARP West Virginia, aims to ensure that such criminals do not profit from wrongdoing. Working with nearly 30 volunteers, the AARP state office successfully pressed for passage of the law, which disqualifies people convicted of financial exploitation from inheriting money or property from the deceased. The law takes effect July 5.
A 2014 AARP study found that 83 percent of West Virginians 45 and older supported stiffer penalties for financial exploitation. For more information, go to aarp.org/wv.