Vulnerable Adult ProtectionWashington has several laws that can be used to protect vulnerable adults. Thompson & Howle attorneys have extensive experience using these laws to help vulnerable adults.
Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders. A vulnerable adult may seek protection from actual or threatened abuse, financial exploitation, or neglect, by filing a petition for an order for protection in superior court. Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders are enforced by the police. Violation of a Vulnerable Adult Protection Order is a criminal offense.
A vulnerable adult is anyone
- Over the age of 60 who has the functional, mental, or physical inability to care for himself or herself, or
- Who is subject to a guardianship, or
- Who is developmentally disabled, or
- Who receives nursing home care or other types of personal care defined by the statute.
- A Vulnerable Adult Protection Order petition may be brought by:
- The vulnerable adult, or
- The vulnerable adult’s family members, or
- The vulnerable adult’s legal fiduciary, or
- The Department of Social and Health Services.
- The attorney-in-fact, or
- The principal (the person who granted the power of attorney), or
- The spouse of the principal, or
- The guardian of the principal, or
- Any other interested person who can demonstrate a legitimate interest in the welfare of the principal and a good faith belief that the court’s intervention is necessary.