Protecting the elderly from financial exploitation29-November-2010 Guardianship By Mark Streeter
Grandmother’s bank accounts being raided
“I am concerned my grandmother is being taken advantage of! My cousin has moved into her house and is accessing her bank accounts what can I do?”
Comment from Mark Streeter – Sydney Family Law Lawyer
The elderly are one section of our society that have a particular vulnerability to financial exploitation. An elderly person can put into place legal documents such as an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Deed of Enduring Guardianship that will provide for the formal appointment of trusted individuals to perform the role of financial manager and guardian in times when they are unable to or are incapable of attending to these types of matters themselves.
If an attorney / guardian, appointed under a deed, fails to protect the best interest of a vulnerable person or there is no formal appointment documents and the informal arrangements are not working an “interested person” may make an application to the Supreme Court or the Guardianship Tribunal for the appointment of an independent financial manager and / or guardian.
Since 1 July 2009, the NSW Trustee and Guardian has performed the roles previously exercised separately by the Office of the Protective Commissioner (Financial Manager) and the NSW Public Trustee (Guardian).
Usually it is preferable that a relative or friend undertake these roles however in circumstances of gross family conflict an independent person may be preferred.
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