Sometimes elder abuse can come from the people whom you least expect – the person’s own children.

Elder abuse can come in many forms – physical, emotional, verbal and even financial. Financial abuse is particularly frequent as adult children try to take money and property that was once in their parent’s name.  

A recent case of this was seen in Western Australia, where three sons managed to siphon more than $1.6 million from their parents, who were both in their 80s, when they didn’t give them the family estate.

Earlier this year, in March, one of the sons helped his elderly father sell the family farm in Wyening.

However, he later transferred $1.6 million and split it three ways with his two brothers.

He also took a personal commission of $50,000, and transferred a further $244,000, of which he later returned $200,000.

There were reportedly some “questionable transactions” in the following months.These transactions included “very large cash withdrawals” as well as giving one son $3,000 for rent and groceries.

It wasn’t long after that, in April, that the elderly couple’s granddaughter stepped in and requested an independent administrator for her grandmother.  

The granddaughter said that her elderly grandmother had been living with dementia, and had recently lost a considerable amount of weight, missed family events and medical appointments, and had her landline disconnected.

A few days after the request was made, she had an altercation with her own father – who was one of the three sons.

On April 13, the granddaughter contacted the family doctor and had her grandparents admitted to hospital on April 13, fearing they were at risk.

It was that very day when the three sons took the proceeds from the sale of the Wyening farm from their parents’ joint account.

From there the family’s internal conflict got worse. Against the daughter’s wishes for an independent administrator, the sons requested if they could, instead, be appointed guardian and administrator for their parents.

Turning against their own children, they suggested that their elderly parents “vulnerable to financial exploitation by [their] grandchildren”, and that they were being held “against their will in hospital”. However, the tribunal said it did not accept these claims.  

After that one of the sons, under a false name, discharged the elderly parents against medical advice.

On top of what they did to their parents’ farm, they also targeted their parents home in Mullaloo.

The sons ‘gifted’ the home to themselves, even though the tribunal said that their elderly mother “lacked the legal capacity required” for the transaction.

The sons even used their parents’ money to pay for renovation and repair to the home after they had transferred it to themselves, along with the sons’ legal fees.

Due to the financial dealing and family conflict that was occurring, the tribunal appointed a Public Trustee as administrator for the elderly couple, and a Public Advocate appointed, with his limited guardianship, for the grandmother. ,

An injunction was also placed to prevent the sons from dealing with any finances associated with their parents’ farm.

Regardless of what kind of upbringing a person had, or how strained the relationship is, or how challenging their financial situation is currently, stealing from your own parents will always be wrong.

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