The Seniors Law Reform Committee has made a series of recommendations to the Ministry of Health, Seniors and Environment for amendments to legislation which would better protect seniors from financial abuse. This growing problem is particularly unsettling in the family context, where powers of attorney, joint bank accounts and voluntary conveyances of real estate are used by younger generations to gain control over the assets of their elders. It often remains hidden, because its victims are both ashamed and afraid that, if they resist, they will be placed in residential care and risk abandonment and emotional abuse by the perpetrating family member.
With moves afoot to ensure that more of our ageing population is cared for at home, it is essential that safeguards are put in place to create a legal and social environment that ensures autonomy, security, comfort, dignity and respect for seniors. It is the Committee's hope that one such safeguard will be the introduction of an Office of the Public Guardian. We will all be seniors one day. It should be our collective goal to ensure that our community is one that values, empowers and protects its most senior members.
For more information check out this PowerPoint presentation titled "Recommendations concerning the financial abuse of seniors" created by the Seniors Law Reform Committee and presented by MJM attorney Jane Collis in April 2016.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.