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Australia: Elder abuse inquiry calls for power of attorney changes to stop children ripping parents off

by David Lewis, ABC News, 11 December 2016

Mr Lewis reports on an inquiry into the financial abuse of the elderly by the Australian Law Reform Commission.

While there are no concrete statistics on the prevalence of elder abuse in Australia, there is agreement that the most common form of abuse is financial and that the perpetrators are likely to be related to the victim.

With Australians living longer than ever before, the ALRC inquiry heard many examples of children who were impatient to get their hands on their parents’ money and tried to claim their inheritance before they were entitled to it.

This is often described as “early inheritance syndrome”.

“It’s as if the current generation wants it now and somehow they justify that it’s okay to take mum or dad’s money right now,” said Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia CEO, Geoff Rowe.

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