Elder Abuse and Elder Financial Exploitation Statutes

The federal government, states, commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia all have laws designed to protect older adults from elder abuse and guide the practice of adult protective services agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others. These laws vary considerably from state to state.
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Citation Statute
Criminal Financial Exploitation
A.R.S. § 13-1802(B) & (K)(6) (2022)

Title 13. Criminal Code
Chapter 18. Theft
§13-1802. Theft; classification; definitions

B. A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly takes control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult's property while acting in a position of trust and confidence and with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property. Proof that a person took control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult's property without adequate consideration to the vulnerable adult may give rise to an inference that the person intended to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property.


K. For the purposes of this section:

6. “Vulnerable adult” has the same meaning prescribed in § 46–451.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
A.R.S. § 14-5101(3) (2022)

Title 14. Trusts, Estates and Protective Proceedings
Chapter 5. Protection of Persons Under Disability and Their Property
Article 1. General Provisions
§ 14-5101. Definitions.

In this title, unless the context otherwise requires:

3. “Incapacitated person” means any person who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, mental disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication or other cause, except minority, to the extent that he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his person. In cases of limited guardianship only, a person is not deemed an incapacitated person for purposes of voting if the person files a petition and has a hearing and the judge determines by clear and convincing evidence that the person retains sufficient understanding to exercise the right to vote pursuant to § 14–5304.02.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
A.R.S. § 46-451(A)(12) (2022)

Title 46. Welfare
Chapter 4. Adult Protective Services
Article 1. General Provisions
§ 46-451. Definitions; program goals

A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

12. “Vulnerable adult” means an individual who is eighteen years of age or older and who is unable to protect himself from abuse, neglect or exploitation by others because of a physical or mental impairment. Vulnerable adult includes an incapacitated person as defined in § 14–5101.