Hanbidge and Schemel legislation to protect seniors passes the House

HARRISBURG, Dec. 13 – State Rep. Liz Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, and Rep. Paul Schemel, R-Franklin, worked bipartisanly to expand Pennsylvania’s Slayer Statute to include provisions for elder abusers.

Their legislation, House Bill 1760, passed the House today and seeks to update the commonwealth’s 51-year-old Slayer Statute. Historically, slayer statutes prevent individuals from profiting off the willful and unlawful killing of another with the intent to collect any benefit or acquire property as the result of the death of the decedent. H.B. 1760 aims to expand this by barring convicted elder abusers from benefiting from the estate of the abused elder.

“Expanding the Slayer Statute to encompass elder abuse is a profound way to protect Pennsylvania’s seniors,” Hanbidge said. “House Bill 1760 will help ensure a future where the rights of Pennsylvania elders are safeguarded, and wrongdoers are prevented from benefiting from abusing seniors. Rep. Schemel and I hope that our bill can serve to protect those who deserve dignity in their twilight years."

“I am glad to have worked with Rep. Hanbidge in a bipartisan effort to make a good bill better,” shared Schemel. “No one who commits a crime against an individual should profit from that victim’s estate. This legislation further clarifies existing statute and amends into it protection for our elders and ensures those who abuse them receive no benefit.”

Hanbidge and Schemel noted that seniors would retain the power to transfer their personal property as they wish after death and that post-conviction reconciliation or ratification would allow elder abusers to be beneficiaries of a decedent’s estate.

H.B. 1760 will now head to the Senate for consideration.