It might start off as a little help. Maybe you are going on a long holiday or are struck down with a serious illness. You have a family member that offers to help you manage your funds and pay some of your bills. The next thing you know they can be controlling how you spend your own money, maybe they are using it for their own needs, or deny you direct access to your bank. It’s a form of abuse that doesn’t get as much attention but can be devastating for all involved.
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Another form could be one of your adult children move back home and refuses to contribute to the home financially while using more than their share of utilities or perhaps bullying you into covering their expenses.
In recent years, there have also been cases of family members trying to sell a home out from under the owner while they were in the hospital. It’s a disgusting act that can leave you feeling helpless.
While it is important to ensure that you have someone as the enduring power of attorney if the worst should happen. This person needs to be someone that has a good track record with money and that you have known for several years. If they have ever had legal troubles around money or struggle financially than the temptation of using your money to fix, their problems might be too much even for someone that you have known most of your life.
If you or someone you know is being taken advantage of there are actions that you can take to get control back. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission have a collection of phone numbers that are relevant for each state on where you can contact for help.
Have you or someone you know been the victim of financial abuse? How did they overcome or did it end up becoming a tragic problem?