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Wendy’s Story

Wendy* was in her eighties when she contacted the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre with assistance from a social worker.

She had concerns about the management of her finances that were being managed by her stepson, who was also her Enduring Power of Attorney.

Wendy resided in a nursing home and had been quite dependent on her stepson as she had mobility issues and never left the nursing home.

She reported that her stepson had been emotionally abusive towards her and was perhaps also financially exploiting her. We made enquires on her behalf and it was soon clear that her stepson had not only denied our client access to her financial records for years but had actually stolen over $100,000 from her.

Wendy’s financial records indicated much of the missing funds were unauthorised withdrawals made from ATMs at the casino. We immediately assisted Wendy by withdrawing her Enduring Power of Attorney from her stepson and appropriately notified all the relevant financial institutions and the nursing home.

The Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre were able to put an immediate stop to Wendy’s stepson accessing her finances. They further provided evidence to the police who commenced a criminal investigation and the stepson was convicted of numerous stealing offences.

As a result of this legal help, some of the funds stolen by Wendy’s stepson were recovered and Wendy’s will was redrafted which notably excluded the stepson from any future benefits.

* Real names have not been used to respect the confidentiality of clients.