As finances and stability have become more of a concern among the young since the economic recession, some of the more vulnerable are retirees and the elderly.
On Saturday, April 6, 2013, The California Department of Corporations participated in the Pacific McGeorge Senior Financial and Health Safety Fair. Department Commissioner, Jan Lynn Owen, had the honor of presenting the Keynote address to attendees of the first annual event.
Along with 27 other exhibitors, the Department held a resource table and distributed and answered questions regarding financial education as well as fraud prevention information for the 120 seniors who attended. Katie Knudson noted that Commissioner Owen talked with some of the seniors after her speech. Owen answered questions and Knudson said the seniors at the fair were very appreciative of the extra time Owen spent with them.
The three hour Fair provided Sacramento seniors with a “one stop” opportunity to obtain materials, become educated about financial safety and protection, and receive free health screenings as well as legal check-ups. Exhibitor booths included; the Department of Corporations, Department of Financial Institutions, Sacramento Adult Protective Services, and many more.
The Senior Financial and Health Safety Fair was presented by the Pacific McGeorge Elder and Health Law Clinic, including over 25 Pacific McGeorge law students, alumni, and faculty provided answers to legal questions about Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Care directives.
Courtesy of California Dept. of Corporations
Approximately 120 senior citizens from the Sacramento area attended the very first Senior Financial Health Fair, on Saturday, April 6, 2013. CA Dept. of Corporations was among over 25 agencies and services represented at the fair.
Knudson also mentioned that this is the law school's very first financial fair and that it will indeed become an annual event that the Dept. of Corporations will be at each year.
This was good news to the organizer and coordinator of the financial and health safety fair Katie Roe. "The event went really well and we are very pleased," she said. Roe and Melissa Brown, who is professor of lawyering skills and the supervising attorney for the Pacific McGeorge Elder and Health Law Clinic worked together to make the event happen. When talking with the Sacramento Bee the day before the fair, professor Brown who specializes in laws concerning the elderly, noted that the major concern for senior citizens is having enough money to support themselves and keep their homes.
Roe explained, "the financial and health safety fair is an effort to do more outreach to seniors, especially since our legal clinic received a cy-près award in summer 2011 from a class action annuity fraud lawsuit to address elder abuse."
the Award was for $120,000. which also funds Roe's position. We received additional funding for the event from the U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health.
Roe who is clinical legal fellow noted that as the baby boomer generation continues to age and more people live to be 100, issues about elder abuse will become more common.
"Mostly what we see in the clinic are issues surrounding personal loans, trusts, deeds to property and the misuse of Power of Attorney," said Roe. While scams and schemes are out there aimed at bilking seniors of their money, "we see lots of family situations," she said. Parents who are being cared for by their grown up children often take liberties and overstep boundaries when it has to do with property or the use of the Power of Attorney.
Roe also noted that even with the best intentions family situations where finances are involved, the lines can get blurred. "Sometimes a son or daughter who has Power of Attorney misuses the power and might feel entitled to the house or properties." Or, "if a dispute arrises between siblings, the one with POA may try to take over without fully recognizing the needs or wishes of the parent."
"In our work, said Roe, we thought it important to help educate people before these situations happen, this is what motivated our senior financial health fair." Education and awareness is crucial, especially taking safeguards to protect one's finances, deed of property and will or trusts.
"We are aiming to make this event an annual one," said Roe. "And, many of the 27 exhibit booth participants from various agencies, (The Dept. of Corporations among them) have said they want to sign on for next year."
For more information about the Senior Financial Health Fair, visit the Pacific McGeorge Law School web site.