Saturday, May 8, 2010

For my Mother on Mother's Day, and my Sister on her Birthday

From the Open Gov West Wiki:

State Legislative Reform:

What reform is needed at the State level?
How can we make the process more transparent?
How do we measure success?

Family law:

What new bills are needed to ensure that victims of child abuse, elder abuse, and domestic violence are protected from further harm?

What Social Services will need to be put into place to re-educate the abusers, and to provide support for moving the victims to safe homes, either with friends, family members or foster families?

How can we reach out to the community to bring more foster families into the system? How can we begin to repair our broken Social Services?

How can we educate the general public and those in the health and educational systems to recognize signs of child abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, elder abuse, and domestic violence early enough to intervene before the problems become chronic or deadly?

Estate law:

What new bills are needed to ensure that friends, neighbors, caretakers and/or family members (wives/husbands, ex-spouses, parents, step-children, children, siblings, grandchildren, cousins, etc.) are unable to influence a parent (Testator) to write the children/rightful heirs (beneficiaries/Trustees)out of a Will or Trust in the final days of his/her life?

How can we better educate the public about elder financial abuse? What are the warning signs of estate fraud? For example, in order to avoid impartial outsiders, perpetrators try to position themselves as Executors, Administrators and Trustees of estate assets in addition to becoming beneficiaries.

As a first step, I'd like to modernize the laws that allow family members to appoint independent guardians to better manage family assets. For adults, this is called conservatorship. This is the most solid form of protection for aging parents (Testators) and their heirs.

"Recognizing that exploiters are often predators who are excellent liars and manipulators is significant information for professionals. Their charm, unless recognized for what it is, may deceive the victim, family, friends, and criminal justice professionals. Excessive charm is often an indicator of abusive traits."
- Undue Influence: The Criminal Justice Response

Undue Influence blog
2010 Senate Bill 6831 (Concerning Estates and Trusts)
National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
A Solid Estate Plan

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