The report contains 43 recommendations for the Attorney-General, George Brandis, to consider to address the spread of elder abuse.
It calls on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to harmonise inconsistent rules and regulations across the states and territories by establishing a national policy framework.
ALRC President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher said the framework could be used to implement wide-ranging reforms, including the introduction of a national register of enduring powers of attorney.
The report’s key recommendations
- Consistent laws across states and territories
- A new serious incident response scheme
- A national register of power of attorney documents
- A nationwide prevalence study
- Training for bank tellers to spot financial abuse
There is currently no way for financial planners, doctors, and other professionals to establish whether a power of attorney document is valid or whether it has been superseded by a separate agreement.
This confusion can allow someone to make decisions on an elderly person’s behalf without the legal right to do so.
“The register would serve the function of ensuring that a person who is purporting to exercise the document as an enduring attorney has the authority, and that it hasn’t been revoked,” Professor Croucher said.
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Read more about the report here