Elder Law Lawsuits and Disclosure – Too Complicated and Unfair

Every time we turn around it seems as if there are more rules and regulations for businesses, especially in dealing with seniors. The regulators are tired of dealing with elder law abuses, and therefore they make more rules, and all these new regulations are taking their toll. Specifically, many of the disclosure documents delivered with financial agreement of all types from life insurance to simple things such as setting up a bank account are getting rather out of control. For instance, you might list your home, and find out there are 30 pages of eight point font print as part of the agreement.

If the font is made bigger that only means there are more pages, pages that no one will ever read, and often legalese which no one can understand. All of this basic boilerplate is causing a basic challenge to humanity and our elderly population. It’s too complicated, and it is unfair. In many industries all of this legalese now needs to be turned into simple English, that is to say plain English that anyone can understand. Nevertheless with all of these pages of disclosure, no it is bothering themselves to read it all. They just assume that it is fair for all concerned – because the regulators are watching, and that’s a false sense of security.

It doesn’t matter if you are signing a medical release or buying a new car, there is just too much disclosure, and it isn’t helping our seniors, rather it is hurting them. Why you ask? Well because there have been too many lawsuits, and to many rules and regulations to prevent elder law abuse, and it’s making it tougher on elderly folks trying to deal with their complicated financial transactions. As people get older, they don’t read as well, they don’t understand things as much, and they don’t have the concentration to read through 30 pages of legalese, even if it is re-written into the simplest of language.

Perhaps you can see the problem, and it is a common problem in business. As a former franchisor, I was always amazed at how large our disclosure documents were getting due to all the case law, rules and regulations, and the need to protect ourselves from lawsuits. There’ve been too many frivolous lawsuits where people claim they didn’t understand the agreement, trying to wiggle their way out, so more disclosures were added to the point of nausea.

It seems these days anytime you want to do anything they cut down half a tree to print out all the paperwork so you can sign it in ten places, and pay two dollars per signature to the notary. Things are getting out of hand, and things are far too complicated – this is making things unfair to our elderly citizens. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.