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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – helping the elderly to protect themselves

Mr Smith* loaned money to his son-in-law, Mr Green*, to help him fund the deposit to buy a home. In Mr Smith’s mind, he was helping his relative and, although Mr Green was the only person registered on title, Mr Smith also regarded himself as a co-owner and as having a share in the equity of the house. After the home was purchased, Mr Smith lived in the home solely and paid money to Mr Green each month, which Mr Smith considered was his contribution towards the mortgage. Mr Green subsequently stated that he considered the loan to be a gift and the regular ongoing payments to be rent. When the relationship soured and Mr Green sought to evict Mr Smith, telling Mr Smith he was a tenant, Mr Smith was left feeling betrayed, facing major financial disadvantage and the possibility of homelessness.

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