Here for YOU Today and There for your FAMILY Tomorrow

Iowa Judges say Just Being 60+ is Enough to Warrant Elder Abuse Protection

03/20/2017

Elder Abuse Protection

Judith Chapman, a 69 year resident of Grimes, Iowa obtained an elder abuse protection order against her adult son, Wilkinson. Yes, this is not a typographical error, her adult son!!! At issue was whether or not it was a case of elder abuse solely by virtue of her being over 60, according to an article in The Des Moines Register, “Iowa Supreme Court: Age enough to order elder abuse protection.” The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that it was, but the court was split in the decision.

Chapman purchased a mobile home in 2008 and subsequently transferred the title to her son. She told him the trailer would be his inheritance when she passed away. However, after an adult daughter moved into the trailer, Wilkinson demanded $35,000 to transfer title back to his mother, according to court records. When Chapman said no, he posted eviction notices on her door three different times, leading her to petition the court for the protection order.

A trial court granted the order, and the Court of Appeals affirmed it.

Justice David Wiggins wrote in his opinion for the court, that the law defines a vulnerable adult as a person 60 or older who’s unable to protect himself or herself as a result of “age or a mental or physical condition.” Three other Supreme Court Justices agreed.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Edward Mansfield—joined by Justices Thomas Waterman and Bruce Zager—believed there wasn’t any evidence that the elderly mother was unable to protect herself due to her age. Judge Mansfield thought the dispute should have been worked out in a title proceeding.

Attorney Carmen Eichmann of Des Moines, who is representing Wilkinson, commented that the case is likely to get the attention of the Iowa Legislature. Eichmann says the state legislature should modify the language in the fairly new law, to show that a person must show he or she can’t protect themselves from abuse, rather than just providing that a senior’s being older than 60 entitles him or her to the enhanced protection.

Regardless of whether the state legislature does or doesn’t modify the law, this is a case with no winners, where an elderly woman and her adult children are at odds and even the justices did not agree about the ruling. No one plans to fail, but they do fail to plan.

Do you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties in Florida? Laws are constantly changing-- has your estate plan been reviewed in the last 2-3 years? Call me (954-888-1747) right away for peace of mind. I can help!

  • My practice is exclusively estate planning and probate,
  • I have prepared numerous estate plans in 16 years of practice,
  • I have administered estates and trusts through Probate all over Florida,
  • I am a Certified Financial Planner Professional™, and
  • I am here for YOU today and there for your FAMILY tomorrow.

Reference: The Des Moines Register (February 25, 2017) “Iowa Supreme Court: Age enough to order elder abuse protection”

Testimonials
★★★★★
Why would we recommend D.T.F.? Several Reasons: Your ability to explain complex estate problems, clearly and patiently; your total lack of arrogance and pretense; a strong feeling that you are motivated by what you perceive is best for your client, rather than what would generate the largest legal fees; finally, and importantly, you are a lovely guy.
★★★★★

Two words cannot sum up the entire process of creating my “trust.” I enjoyed your attention to detail, your patience of explaining terms and conditions until I understood, also giving me copies to read and understand. Thank you for your suggestions on what was best for “me” but still allowing me to make my choice. Most of all, thank you for thinking of “me.” Wells Fargo said “you were the best” I cannot deny that. Again thank you very much for everything. Anna is an asset or a compliment to the firm. She is warm and very caring. It was great doing business. Thank you.

P.M.