About 38 states have defined abuse of an older or incapacitated adult as a specific crime. A few include neglect as a crime (which could be particularly touchy – like a relative’s leaving an elder with diagnosed dementia alone). Elizabeth Olson has a detailed article on the problem in the Sunday New York Times today Easter Sunday, 2017, Business Section, p. 8, “Declaring war on financial abuse of older people: Fraud against loved one pushed one woman to speak out for stricter protections”.
The article talks about increased responsibilities for adult protective services in many states, and for recent pressures on financial planners or banks to report activities that could be suspicious. A good question could occur after the fact of death, if inheritance is misused and there are few beneficiaries and some are unable to look out for themselves. Could the “public” be viewed as having a “stake” in how inheritances are used?