All About Estates

Financial Abuse of Elders – The Role of the Police

At a recent neeting of the Estate Planning Council of Toronto, Jan Goddard (of Jan Goddard and Associates, a boutique Toronto law firm specializing in estates and elder law) and Police Constable Patricia Fleischmann (Vulnerable Persons Issues, Community Mobilization Unit, Toronto Police) spoke about “elder issues”.  Jan focused on Powers of Attorney, while PC Fleishmann delivered a presentation on elder abuse.

While many in the audience that evening, and many of the readers of this blog, will have some knowledge of and familiarity with Powers of Attorney, the role of the police in “protecting older clients from financial abuse” – the title of PC Fleischmann’s presentation – is something many of us know much less about.

PC Fleischmann began  by citing a number of reasons “why” older adults may be targeted. These include:

o a sense of entitlement on the part of their abusers
o being “easy” victims; often retired or housebound and living alone
o the victim’s reluctance or inability to report the abuse, whether a result of incapacity, embarrassment and/or fears/threats of reprisal

Officer Fleischmann went on to set out some possible indicators of financial abuse. Many of the same indicators are noted in an article by Keir Clark, Senior Wealth Advisor with ScotiaMcLeod, titled “Financial Abuse of our Elderly; let’s have zero tolerance” .

PC Fleischmann also discussed “who, when, why and how” to call the police and detailed the process of what happens once the police receive a call.  To learn more, you may access PC Fleischmann’s comprehensive presentation via the Estate Planning Council of Toronto’s website or visit

Thanks for reading.

Elaine Blades

About Elaine Blades