In the coming weeks we will be posting about elder abuse and the role of estate planning and guardianship proceedings in addressing a growing crisis.  As an introduction to the novel legal and medical issues posed by living longer lives, we link to two public presentations that you might find interesting. The first is from the American Bar Association and examines the many legal issues presented by elder abuse. The second is from a Harvard Law School seminar on the way science is expanding our definition of what constitutes “undue influence” in estate planning for the very elderly. For the estate planning attorneys out there, the concept of “undue influence” is changing and science will compel us to challenge the conventional wisdom of what constitutes undue influence with the very elderly.

The American Bar Association, Elder Abuse. July 7, 2020:

The American Bar Association, Elder Abuse

Our Aging Brains: Decision-making, Fraud, and Undue Influence

From the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School:

Harvard Law School, Our Aging Brains

From the Harvard seminar: “With over 70 million Baby Boomers retiring, elder financial exploitation has been labeled the “Crime of the 21st Century.” In this half-day event, we explored the neuroscience, psychology, and legal doctrine of financial decision-making in older adults. How does the aging brain make financial decisions, and when is it uniquely susceptible? How can courts best use science to improve their adjudication of disputes over “competency”, “capacity”, and “undue influence”? Is novel neuroimaging evidence of dementia ready for courtroom use?”