Elder Financial Abuse

We act for people, or their representatives, who have been the victims of elder financial abuse and are seeking recovery.

We are a Victorian legal firm.  We act for people, or their representatives, who have been the victims of elder financial abuse and are seeking recovery.

We are located in Melbourne. We can act for clients throughout Victoria.

The term “elder financial abuse” is the most common term used to describe a wide variety of circumstances in which financial advantage is taken of senior citizens. Very often by children and other family members or friends.

There is an evolving awareness of this issue in the community, and with the population demographic predicted to have increasing proportions of senior citizens in coming decades the occurrence of elder financial abuse is likely to increase.

Elder financial abuse has been referred to as “the crime of the 21st century”. * Also “a silent crime” or “hidden crime“.**

The other areas of this website provide more detailed information about this area of legal practice.

* MetLife Mature Market Institute – “The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse“, June 2011

**State Trustees Victoria – website page on elder financial abuse.

Examples of elder financial abuse include:

  • Abuse of powers of attorney
  • Loans to children and other family members not being repaid on time or at all
  • Carers abusing their position
  • “Inheritance impatience” – children making demands of their parents for money or transfers of property
  • Demands by children that a parent change their Will
  • Coercion by children or others for an elder to sign a document that will disadvantage the elder financially
  • Abuse of “granny flat” type arrangements, including transfer real estate without payment or other consideration
  • Children receiving funds from parents to invest on the parents’ behalf, and loss occurring because of mismanagement or refusal to pay back
  • Unexplained withdrawals from or transfers between bank accounts

Gauld & Co., Solicitors

This area of legal practice requires three particular skills:

  1. Empathy with those who have been subject to elder financial abuse.
  2. Experience in dispute resolution, including litigation.
  3. An understanding of the various forms of elder financial abuse and the early assessment of the prospects of recovery.

Peter Gauld, the principal of the firm, has been involved as a Melbourne solicitor in litigation and dispute resolution for more than thirty years and in elder law legal advice for the last ten years. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne.

Access to our legal services

Having acted in the elder law area for many years we are acutely aware that seniors sometimes have difficulty accessing legal services perhaps because of transport difficulties, they live remotely or they are simply unaware that they have a legal problem that can be resolved.

Seniors should not hesitate to contact us in any way most convenient for them.  In some instances it may be possible for a senior to go to a local library or community centre and seek assistance in emailing us or using Skype.  We will always lend a sympathetic ear to any enquiry however trivial it may appear.

All initial communications to assess a problem are obligation free.

Why Choose Us?
Dedicated practice

We are one of the few legal firms in Australia who advise in relation to granny flat agreements on a regular basis.


We make extensive use of technology to streamline document production. This significantly reduces the time we have to spend on drawing agreements.

Cost effective

Because of this experience in this area and our process efficiencies we can get matters finalised in a cost effective manner. Ask us about our fees.


The principal, Peter Gauld, has been practising in this area for fifteen years, and in relation to granny flat disputes he has had 30+ practising in dispute resolution.

Estate Planning

Wills - powers of attorney - Will disputes

Granny flats

Granny flat agreements - Disputes

Elder financial abuse

Recovery of assets of financial abuse