Increased house prices and reasonable superannuation balances can mean that some older people are in a good financial position. This can lead to family members feeling a sense of entitlement, with some people referring to it as inheritance impatience.
Elderly Australians being ripped off by family members impatient for their inheritance are the focus of the banking industry push for tighter rules.
Seniors Rights Service says the World Health Organisation defines abuse as “single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”. Abuse includes harm caused by people you trust, such as a spouse, partner or family member, a friend or neighbour, or people you rely on for services. It can be financial, physical, psychological or sexual.
The most common type of elder abuse reported is financial abuse, followed closely by psychological abuse. Often, the two are intertwined. Unfortunately perpetrated by family.
We need to protect our elders and ourselves from financial abuse and look out for our friends as well, especially if they are socially isolated.
Having an up-to-date Will, Power of Attorney, Statement of Wishes and an Advanced Care Directive is a crucial step to protecting your financial health as you age.
In the meantime, you can join the Australian Banking Association campaign to #stopelderfinancialabuse by signing the petition.
The campaign calls on the government to establish:
1. National consistent laws
2. National Power of Attorney register
3. Somewhere to report abuse
When I am not thinking about the 87% of Australians who want government to do more to stop elder financial abuse I work at Mirus Australia and a NED at Globalaai