This is Brian Herd from CRH Law, talking to you today about my mom is being abused, what can I do? People don’t rob banks much anymore. Instead, some of them are actually robbing their parents instead. The reality is, if you are for example the enduring power of attorney for someone, you are given an opportunity, if you wish to take advantage of it, to take money from someone for whom you’re the attorney, illegally, invalidly and without their approval. It can be very fruitful and it can be done it appears under the veil and the cloak of some authority contained within the enduring power of attorney, but having such an authority does not entitle you to take someone else’s money, even if it is your own mom or your dad’s money, nor does it entitle you to actually pay yourself for being your mom or dad’s enduring attorney. It’s supposed to be a voluntary position with lots of responsibilities and duties but still a voluntary position.
The reality is if you come across someone you think maybe abusing that power and it’s certainly becoming statistically more common, the question for you is what can I do about it? There are three types of people in this world. There are people who watch something happen, who wait for something to happen and for those people who make something happen. If you want to make something happen and you have reasonable concerns about someone abusing this sort of document in relation to a mom or a dad or anyone for that matter, what can you do?
Well, you can try and report it to the police for example, but oftentimes they’re not particularly interested because it’s intrafamily as it were. An alternative is to report it to the public guardian, a statutory authority who’s empowered to investigate allegations of abuse, particularly of the enduring power of attorney. The third option you have is to in effect, apply to the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal to have the attorney sacked effectively for doing the wrong thing.
Whichever way you choose to go, you need to choose to do something or not to do something. Bear in mind that accusing someone of abusing this sort of power is a very serious allegation, so it’s very important that you are in mind of two things before you report it. Firstly, that you do have a reasonable suspicion, and secondly to get good legal advice about whether those suspicions are significant enough to report it to an appropriate authority.
Whichever way you turn, it’s important to do something, to get advice and if appropriate, take the appropriate action to report it. You could live with this then and hopefully, the person for whom you’re reporting it will have a better life afterwards. Think about it.