FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE
Elder abuse can take many forms. We have published on our website quite a bit of information about Elder abuse. Right now we want to talk about the financial aspects of Elder abuse.
People in the twilight of their lives are preyed upon by others to get access or control over their finances and assets.
Often it’s a family member. Other times it can be con artists, corrupt business people, telemarketers, investment advisers, nursing home operators and countless others.
The elderly are often vulnerable targets.
What you need to know
We have seen countless examples of an older person being changed without their actual knowledge or proper understanding of what they are doing.
Sometimes, a family member can put pressure on a relative to change their will unfairly. Sometimes that older person doesn’t have what is called capacity to understand what they are doing.
Sadly, family members sometime take money from bank accounts belonging to older relatives.
The financial exploitation of the elderly can also take many other forms as well. For example, having an older relative provide a guarantee on a loan which they don’t properly understand.
There are many avenues to address this type of financial abuse. Applications can be made for the appointment of financial managers.
Providing the criteria are met those financial managers can be members of the family. Others however can be appointed from outside the immediate family.
They include the Public trustee and at times a trustees from a trustee company. In other circumstances it may be necessary to sue for the recovery of money improperly taken.
Things to consider
It also may be necessary to make an application to the court in relation to a Will that has been changed, or where somebody has been unfairly treated under a will.
You may have also heard of enduring powers of attorney. These can be a very effective means of ensuring proper control of an older person’s finances when it gets too much for them in the latter stages of their life.
If you have a family member who you think has been abused financially or if you’re in this position yourself, give us a call we can help.
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