Elder Abuse

Putting decades of experience to work for you.

Elder abuse is most often defined as: “Single or repeated acts, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.” (World Health Organization, 2002)

Elder abuse takes many different forms; it is as varied and individual as its victims themselves.  It can take the form of financial mismanagement and dishonesty, physical abuse and/or psychological abuse directly in the home or in the wider community. Unfortunately, there are times that it becomes apparent in estate and capacity law, particularly in regard to financial mismanagement or influence.

The central characteristic of any form of elder abuse is the existence of vulnerability. It is the elderly person’s vulnerability that makes abuse possible and against which seniors require protection. If you feel you may be the victim of elder abuse or fear that a family member may be experiencing such abuse, we can support you. You are not alone. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

A component of elder abuse may include the occurrence of a predatory marriage upon an elderly, unsuspecting or incapacitated family member.  Although uncommon, such incidents are increasing in frequency. The law is not particularly well developed in this area, however there is recourse and you should contact a litigation lawyer immediately if you suspect that a loved one may be the victim of elder abuse. Our Estate, Trust, and Capacity Litigation group has experience in this expanding area of law and can provide timely advice and can undertake strategically effective courses of action to protect the vulnerable person.

For assistance with your concerns about possible elder abuse or predatory marriage in your family, please contact Sarah Williamson by email or at 613.544.0211, ext. 8051.

Elder Abuse Lawyers

Our Estate, Trust, and Capacity Litigation team offers a wide range of legal services to help support businesses of all sizes.

Desiree Smith


Desiree Smith is an Associate in our General Litigation group. Before joining Cunningham Swan,

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