3 signs of family financial abuse seniors should be aware of


Older Canadians should be wary when divvying up their finances to loved ones, warn those in the know

With the biggest intergenerational transfer of wealth happening right now, the risk of family financial abuse is at an all-time high, experts say.

Approximately $1 trillion in personal wealth will be transferred from one generation to the next in Canada between 2016 and 2026, with roughly 70 per cent of that in the form of financial assets, according to Toronto-based research firm Strategic Insight.

“It’s the crime [financial abuse] of the 21st century,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, chief public policy officer at CARP (Canadian Association for Retired Persons). “It is a significant and growing problem.”

According to CARP, two-thirds of all elder abuse is committed by family or loved ones, with financial abuse often par for the course.

A 2015 survey, Into the Light, by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly, the presence of financial abuse was just 2.6 per cent representing 244,176 older Canadians. But the numbers are likely much higher, says Tamblyn Watts, as participants surveyed did not include those in assisted living or long-term care facilities, or those with cognitive impairment.

Learn more

Source: cpacanada.ca – Sophie Nicholls Jones