Protecting Charles’ Financial Assets And Wishes


NSW Trustee and Guardian has an important role to play in supporting those who may have been a victim of elder abuse.

Our legal team specialise in recovering money misappropriated from elderly people by family members, enduring attorneys, carers, friends and neighbours. While sometimes it is not always possible to recover the money for the elderly person, but like Charles’ story, there have been many other positive outcomes where NSW Trustee and Guardian has been able to ensure that our customers enjoy their future without financial concern.

Charles* was living alone on a small property in south eastern New South Wales. He had dementia but was otherwise very healthy. He had never married, had no close family and little contact with his extended family.

Charles’ main source of income was the dividends from a considerable share portfolio. When his former accountant became concerned that Charles was being financially exploited by his carers, the accountant lodged an application for a financial management order and NSW Trustee and Guardian was appointed as Charles’ financial manager.

On investigation, it was discovered that the people assisting Charles had paid themselves a salary to help manage the property and provide care for him which was well above market rates. They also made extensive improvements to the property and purchased equipment and stock that was at odds with Charles’ intentions.

It was also reported that gates on the property had been locked which had prevented Charles’ extended family from visiting him.

The outcome of Charles’ story is a positive one. As financial manager, NSW Trustee and Guardian stopped the payments to the people who had been helping him, redirected dividend payments and secured assets and other income for him. The equipment and stock were sold, and we also engaged qualified carers to provide the services Charles needed.

When the NSW Public Guardian was appointed Charles’ guardian, our teams worked together to arrange 24-hour care, a suitable vehicle to take Charles to appointments and on outings, and modifications to his house. These have enabled Charles to remain in the property in accordance with his wishes.

* Names and identifying details may have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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