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Elder Abuse and Undue Influence Awareness

Did you commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day? June 15, 2017 marked the twelfth annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, or WEAAD. Elder abuse, especially elder financial exploitation, has been called the crime of the 21st century. However, based on national surveys, elder abuse remains one of the least investigated and least addressed types of violence in national action plans. Experts predict that by the year 2025, the global population of those aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion. As the global elderly population grows, so does the risk of financial abuse.

To raise awareness around the world and promote a better understanding of abuse of older adults, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations launched WEAAD in 2006. WEAAD’s theme this year focused on preventing financial exploitation of the elderly in the context of human rights. The 2017 WEAAD also stressed the need for countries to take concrete action and develop strategies addressing financial exploitation for older adults.

All counties in Florida are governed by Florida Statute §68.07 regarding name changes. Before you begin the process you must consider why you want to change your name. There are different steps if you are changing your name pursuant to a marriage, divorce, or changing your name back to a prior name. If you seek a name change in Dade County, Broward County or West Palm Beach County, you must have fingerprints submitted to the court before you can have a hearing on a name change. There are slightly different rules regarding the hearing if a former name is being restored. These fingerprints will be used for a criminal history check. The court will consider the results of the criminal history when evaluating whether to grant the name change petition.

It is important to file your petition for a name change in the correct court. If John Smith has a house in Boca Raton and also a condominium in Miami Beach Florida, which court would be the appropriate court for a name change petition? The answer will depend on which home is his primary residence. For example, where does he receive his mail, which residence does he claim as his homestead property, and which address is listed on his driver’s license? Once you have determined the proper court you will need to contact that clerk to find the proper agency to take and submit your fingerprints.

You can visit the clerk of court in the county you reside in for information on the fingerprinting process. West Palm Beach Clerk of Court website is located at website address:

The Broward County Clerk of Court website is located at: You can visit the Dade County Clerk of Court website at:
Regardless of which Florida County your name change petition is filed it has to include the following information:

  1. That the petitioner, or the person who wants to change their name, is a resident of and lives in the county where the change of name is sought.
  2. The date and place of birth of the petitioner, the petitioner’s father’s name, the petitioner’s mother’s maiden name, and where the petitioner has lived since birth.
  3. The petitioner’s marriage status, the name of the petitioner’s spouse and if the petitioner has children, the names and ages of each and where they reside.
  4. If the petitioner’s name has previously been changed and when and where and by what court.
  5. The petitioner’s occupation and where the petitioner is employed and has been employed for 5 years next preceding the filing of the petition. If the petitioner owns and operates a business, the name and place of the business, how the petitioner is connected to the business and how long the petitioner has been identified with that business. If the petitioner is in a profession, the profession shall be stated, where the petitioner has practiced the profession, and if a graduate of a school or schools, the name or names thereof, date of graduation, and degrees received.
  6. If the petitioner has been generally known or called by any other names and if so, by what names and where.
  7. If the petitioner has ever been adjudicated bankrupt and if so, where and when.
  8. Whether the petitioner has ever been arrested for or charged with, pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or been found to have committed a criminal offense, regardless of adjudication, and if so, when and where.
  9. Whether any money judgment has ever been entered against the petitioner and if so, the name of the judgment creditor, the amount and date thereof, the court by which entered, and whether the judgment has been satisfied.
  10. That the petition is filed for no ulterior or illegal purpose and granting it will not in any manner invade the property rights of others, whether partnership, patent, good will, privacy, trademark, or otherwise.
  11. That the petitioner’s civil rights have never been suspended or, if the petitioner’s civil rights have been suspended, that full restoration of civil rights has occurred.

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