Schemel, Hanbidge cross the aisle to protect seniors with updated Slayer Statute

14 December 2023- State Reps. Liz Hanbidge (D-Montgomery) and Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) have successfully worked across the aisle to include provisions for elder abusers as part of Pennsylvania’s Slayer Statute. 

Their House Bill 1760 passed the House today and would update the Commonwealth’s 51-year-old Slayer Statute, which currently prevents 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. House Bill 1760 would expand the statute by barring convicted elder abusers from benefiting from their victim’s estate. 

“Expanding the Slayer Statute to encompass elder abusers is a profound way to protect Pennsylvania’s seniors,” Hanbidge said. “House Bill 1760 would 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 retain the power to transfer their personal belongings as they wish after death. Post-conviction reconciliation or ratification would allow elder abusers to be beneficiaries of a decedent’s estate.

House Bill 1760 may now be considered in the Senate.