Elder Abuse

Some of you will have been reading in the press, articles referring to the incidence of elder abuse where persons ‘of more mature ages’ are being subjected to financial, physical, sexual & psychological abuse and/or abuse by neglect.

Dougal Geddes is a member of a subcommittee of the Elder Law & Succession Committee of the Law Society of NSW and they are looking at making a formal submission to the various government inquiries/investigations into these issues.

The New South Wales government inquiry has been set up and its terms of references are at

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/9c048dfe66f02d36ca257eb30081bf4a/$FILE/Terms%20of%20Reference%20-%20Inquiry%20into%20elder%20abuse%20in%20NSW.pdf

99% of all appointments involve persons who conduct themselves not only appropriately but they accept the quite onerous obligations happily, and generously give their time to assist the donor (i.e. the person who gives the Power of Attorney)for many years.

To try to remove the risks for donors, legislation may be necessary:
– to prevent ANY family members from being appointed an Attorney;
– requiring specific training and insurance for Attorneys; and possibly
– imposing greater financial and reporting obligations on the Attorney;
are just some of a range of possible initiatives, but such requirements will of course add considerable costs to any such appointment.

If any of you have any knowledge of any particular circumstance, then please do not hesitate to contact Dougal Geddes.

If any of you have any suggestions as to what you think might be appropriate and how these incidents can be stopped/reduced then, again, please contact Dougal Geddes  at your earliest convenience