Old woman's hands clasped on her knees

Elder Financial Abuse

Suzanne Lyttleton Lawyers can provide specialist legal advice to help stop elder financial abuse and recover lost or stolen assets. 

The number of older Australians continues to grow and by 2054, it is projected that over 22% of the population will be aged 65 and over. At the same time, life expectancy has increased. This office is experienced in providing legal services to older Australians and their family members who have concerns relating to the financial and personal vulnerability of elderly members of their families, or the wider community.

What is Elder Financial Abuse?

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person. It is most widely perpetrated by a someone in a relationship of trust with the older person, such as a family member, friend or carer. 

Elder abuse can be physical, sexual, financial, emotional and includes neglect. It is insidious and often hard to detect, particularly when the older person does not recognise the signs of abuse or attempts to conceal it. 

Elder financial abuse can include:

  • Transferring assets
  • Redirecting pension entitlements
  • Procuring financial advantage by deception
  • Misuse of a Power of Attorney
  • influencing an older person to make decisions that are not in the older person’s interests;

Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

Elder financial abuse can be hard to detect but common signs can include:

  • Disengagement from existing professionals (lawyers, accountants)
  • Insistence by a suspected abuser in attending appointments
  • Insistence by a suspected abuser in answering questions and taking control of information (such as by telephone, email or post)
  • Social isolation and/or the suspected abuser cutting off contact with family members, or people important to the older person;
  • Missing belongings
  • Missing critical documents such as bank statements, bank cards and titles
  • Lack of funds for basic needs such as food, clothing, transport and regular bills
  • Large withdrawals or big changes in banking habits
  • Fear, stress and anxiety around money
  • Sudden changes to living arrangements.

How Can We Help?

Our office is regularly appointed by VCAT and private clients to conduct investigations into suspected elder financial abuse and has successfully recover assets misappropriated by family members, or other abusers. 

We can assist to:

  • Obtain information about an older person’s financial affairs and investigate allegations of improper conduct by attorneys, administrators, family members or professionals
  • Obtain medical evidence of decision-making capacity
  • Remove attorneys or administrators who have not met their obligations 
  • Seek to recover assets that have been misappropriated
  • Recover unpaid loans or 
  • Safeguard against future risk of abuse with proper estate and future planning

To discuss your concerns regarding elder financial abuse, please contact one of our lawyers on (03) 9646 4477

Trusted & Responsive Specialists.

Do you need tailored and thorough legal advice?