Undue Influence and the Growing Problem of Elder Abuse

Undue Influence and the Growing Problem of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can take many forms, including neglect, verbal and physical abuse, and financial abuse. According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, people who are aged 80 and older suffer two to three times the abuse rate of those in younger age brackets.

As modern health care continues to increase life expectancy, more elderly people than ever will need to depend upon other people who may or may not have their best interests at heart. In such cases, undue influence is a real threat that can be prevented or minimised with the help of our estate planning lawyers in Adelaide.

The Increasingly Common Problem of Undue Influence in South Australia

The Increasingly Common Problem of Undue Influence in SA

Modern medicine is helping us live longer life spans than ever before, but a good portion of the ageing population needs assistance from family members or other caregivers as time goes on. This dependency, coupled with the older person’s declining physical or mental state, unfortunately creates favourable conditions for a caregiver to manipulate the estate planning process for his or her own benefit. This is called undue influence, and when you consult with Genders & Partners for Wills & estate planning in Adelaide, we will do everything in our power to protect you from those who do not have your best interests at heart.

Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: Bequests to Caregivers

Bequests to Caregivers

As we age, advances in medical science continue to improve our life-expectancy, so we are living longer and longer on average.

But as we age, we are more likely to require care towards the end of our lives. Some of this care is provided by voluntary caregivers and friends & family, in addition to paid carers. Sometimes we want to provide for those caregivers or friends in our Will. Such bequests however can be suspected, resented and possibly challenged by family members and other beneficiaries after we die.

Imagine an elderly man changes his Will three months before he dies to leave all of his assets to an individual who had recently befriended him and “taken care of him” in recent times.  To many people the word “gold-digger” might spring to mind.

As people age, their mental abilities age as well. Their judgment, wisdom and discernment in making decisions may no longer be as acute, and they may be more willing to trust strangers.

Sadly, some people take advantage of such elderly people, causing them to sign over assets and benefits or even whole estates to people they hardly know.

Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: The Right to Choose – Live or Die

The Right to Choose – Live or Die

Do you have strong feelings about what should happen at the end of your life?

You are not alone.

Around Australia in the last 15 years there have been several legislative attempts to create a framework for assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, and there have recently been Bills before the parliaments in both South Australia and Western Australia upon this issue.

In 1995, the Northern Territory of Australia became the first place in the world to pass right to die legislation. The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act lasted 9 months before being overturned by the Australian Federal Parliament. At present, voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal in all states and territories of Australia; however the pressure is growing for change.

There are already places in Europe and in the USA where the laws permit degrees of voluntary euthanasia.

Of course this is a sensitive and controversial topic, provoking extreme reactions among people.  It touches upon some of the same issues as Capital Punishment and Abortion.

For some, the sanctity of human life is paramount, and for them religious beliefs prevent any suggestion of termination of life.  This group might be called the “Right to Life” group.