Financial Abuse

Financial abuse involves the illegal or improper use of a person's finances or property by another person with whom they have a relationship implying trust (ANPEA).

Examples include:

  • Misappropriation of property, money or valuables - a loss of money ranging from removal of cash from a wallet, to the cashing of cheques for large amounts of money, loss of jewellery, silverware, paintings or furniture
  • Forced changes to a Will or other legal document - the making of a new Will in favour of a new friend or another family member. Power of Attorney may be obtained improperly from a person without decision-making capacity.
  • Denial of the right to access personal funds - A family member may take control of a person's finances or banking, while the older person is still capable of maintaining their affairs.
  • Forging of signatures - on bank accounts or legal documents.
  • Misusing Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Going grocery shopping and not returning the change

Signs of financial abuse include:

  • Reluctance to make a will
  • Loss of jewellery and personal property
  • Unprecedented transfer of funds
  • Improper attainment, or misuse of a Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Loss of financial material eg. Bank books, credit cards, cheque books
  • Bills not paid when money entrusted to a third party
  • Management of a competent person's finances by another person
  • Sudden inability to pay bills: rent, buy food or participate in social activities
  • Unexplained withdrawal from bank accounts
  • Cashing of personal cheques
  • Removal of cash from a wallet