This is an issue that financial advisers confront frequently

This article from Janine Starks, and first published on in June 30, 2018 resonates with many of us and demonstrates the subtlety of what happens in many family situations.

The entrepreneur needs another parental loan for a business opportunity. 

Happy days, we'll have a repeat whirl at becoming the Morgan Family.

A son removes money from his father's bank account. He's got power of attorney but forgot that doesn't come with the power of entitlement. 

Financial elder abuse is well-documented and we all think we know what it looks like. Surely it's about the drug-addled or debt-ridden black sheep of the family? Peter Pan visits the nursing home and emerges with a bit more of the family gold. Yes and No. 

There's a far more sophisticated and subtle version of family abuse with money. Most people you talk to have witnessed something in their wider family where the word "abuse" just seems too strong. They're all a bit too middle-class to use that word. 

Perhaps the term "manipulative" or "taking advantage" seems to suit the situation better. Even the word "elder" is a bit off-piste. It conjures up images of Mum and Dad in an age-care facility. Mum and Dad might be 58 or even 68 and just breezed in from a 10 km run.

Having pre-conceived ideas about what the victim and perpetrator look like when it comes to financial abuse, stops us recognising what's going on behind closed doors. 

In the vast majority of cases, it's very subtle and committed by people who are pretty nice grown-ups on the whole. They just haven't stopped to weigh up what they are doing, or how other members of the family see them. When parents don't appear to be overly "vulnerable", no one feels comfortable approaching the subject or interfering. 

There are ten red flags – read more of this article here: signs-of-elder-abuse 

Janine Starks is a financial commentator with expertise in banking, personal finance and funds management. Opinions in this column represent her personal views. They are general in nature and are not a recommendation, opinion or guidance to any individuals in relation to acquiring or disposing of a financial product. Readers should not rely on these opinions and should always seek specific independent financial advice appropriate to their own individual circumstances.