It is estimated that at least five per cent of older people experience some kind of financial abuse by family members of carers. Common elder abuse scenarios include: attorneys misusing their powers under an enduring power of attorney; an older person suffering as they are caught in a family dispute over who should make decisions for them; and a third party ingratiating themselves into the life of an older person for financial gain.
In order to ensure the safety and protection for those growing older, following these top ten tips can help avoid financial elder abuse.
- Don’t give your PIN or debit or credit card to anyone
- Don’t allow anyone to bank online for you.
- Get independent legal advice before lending money to family, moving in with family or allowing family to move in with you
- Talk to your lawyer alone, not in the company of family members
- Talk to Centrelink before lending money, gifting money or moving in with family as your pension could be affected
- Review your will and your Enduring Power of Attorney every three years
- Appoint more than one attorney to act jointly
- Don’t sign anything unless you understand what you are signing
- Join a group, keep healthy and maintain a support network
- If you have concerns, talk to someone you trust – such as your GP, police or your lawyer
More information is available from the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline.
Our team can assist you by providing expert advice and legal support regarding your options. Contact us today on (02) 4929 3995 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.catherinehenrylawyers.com.au.
- NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit 1800 628 221
- Seniors Rights Service (02) 9281 3600 1800 424 079
- NCAT NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal 1300 006 228
- LawAccess NSW 1300 888 529
- Community Legal Centres NSW (02) 9212 7333
- NSW Law Society (02) 9926 0333
- NSW Trustee & Guardian 1300 354 103