CONSUMER ALERT: AARP Florida Celebrates Top 5 Legislative Wins for Older Consumers 

Posted on 05/12/21 by Jamie Champion Mongiovi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 12, 2021

CONTACT:
Jamie Champion Mongiovi, AARP Florida
(850) 559-0883, jchampion@aarp.org 

Tallahassee, Fla. – AARP Florida today issued a consumer alert highlighting positive legislative changes that AARP advocated for during Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session. 

Florida State Capitol. Photo by Adobe Stock

AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said, “This legislative session was like no other, and AARP showed up as a wise friend and fierce defender of Floridians 50-plus. Multiple consumer-friendly bills flew under the radar while many controversial issues took center stage. AARP Florida supported the following bills because they will help older Floridians across the state. We encourage Governor DeSantis to sign these good bills to benefit older consumers. Remember to review these changes to Florida law and understand how they could affect you and your loved ones.”

Ensuring Older Floridians Maintain Independence – Elder-focused Dispute Resolution Process (HB 441): The legislation creates an alternative dispute resolution option for court-appointed elder caring coordinators to assist elders, legal representatives and their family members to resolve high-conflict disputes that impact elders’ safety and autonomy.

Protecting Seniors from Exploitation – Protection of Elderly Persons and Disabled Adults (HB 1041): The legislation criminalizes any attempt to exploit seniors by expanding the Attorney General's jurisdiction to include authority over crimes against elders and disabled adults. It prohibits any person who is convicted in any state or foreign jurisdiction of abuse, neglect, exploitation or manslaughter of an elderly or disabled person from serving as a personal representative or from inheriting from the victim’s estate, trust, or other beneficiary assets. However, a victim may choose to reinstate the person as a beneficiary.

Fighting Pandemic Scams and Fraud – Protecting Consumers Against Pandemic-related Fraud (HB 9): The legislation establishes criminal penalties and authorizes civil remedies against persons who defraud others regarding the availability of, or access to, personal protective equipment or a vaccine for COVID-19 or other pandemic diseases. It prohibits a person from knowingly and willfully making a materially false or misleading statement or disseminating false or misleading information via marketing or advertising materials, on a website, social media platform, or other media, or by telephone, text message, mail or e-mail.

Hanging Up on Telemarketers – Telephone Solicitation (SB 1120): The legislation requires all sales telephone calls, text messages, and direct-to-voicemail transmissions to have the receiving consumer’s prior express written consent if the call will be made using an automated machine to dial the recipient’s phone number or will play a recorded message upon connection with the recipient. It prohibits telephone sellers and salespersons from calling a consumer more than three times over a 24-hour period about the same subject matter.

Empowering Consumers in the Probate Process – Attorney Compensation (HB 625): The legislation creates a series of disclosures an attorney must provide when seeking to represent a personal representative in a probate proceeding or trust administration. The disclosure must state that the attorney fee is not required to be based on the value of the estate or trust, may be subject to negotiation and that selection of the attorney is at the discretion of the personal representative or trustee.

* These bills will become law upon effective date or signature of the Governor. *

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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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