The elderly, particularly those who a lone or have a disability, have cultural barriers or are reliant on others, are at risk of financial abuse.
Common forms of abuse are:
- Abusing power of attorney
- Pressure, threats and intimidation
- Fraud and scams
- Abusing family agreements
- Improper use of funds
- Inheritance impatience
- Guarantors gone wrong
- Failure to provide promised care
- Emotional blackmail
It is crucial to have an Enduring Power of Attorney and other proper Estate planning tools in place, and to work with professionals such as lawyers, accountants and doctors in a holistic way. One person should lead the planning process, and have a strong relationship with the client.
There are services such as the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) – 1800 700 600 – that can assist. It is also crucial to seek legal advice before any problems arise.