New Hampshire law is protective of our elderly or otherwise vulnerable folks. The law has been quite strict and effective January 1, it will be even stricter. RSA 631 provides that anyone who “knowingly or recklessly” acquires assets of an impaired adult through coercion or undue influence may be guilty of a felony plus have to return all such property. Consent is not a defense if the person had reason to know that the impaired or vulnerable adult lacked the capacity to make an informed consent.
We often have family members come to us with concerns about someone- usually a brother or sister- who may be guilty of this offense. This is a tough situation for all involved because there is also a mandatory reporting law. Any person suspecting, or believing in good faith, that such exploitation or abuse has occurred must make a report or be guilty of a misdemeanor, The only exception to that is the attorney-client privilege. If you know or suspect that someone is being exploited or abused, you must report it! If you are uncertain, we will be happy to advise you. To see the statues click here and here.
If you are concerned that someone may be exploited or just want to make certain that you are following the law, we would be glad to help. Call us to schedule an appointment! 603-249-5925