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‘Grace’: Death, Dollars, and Deceit: Unravelling a Family’s Feud

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11th April 2024

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About this episode

What happens when some family members see dollar signs in death? How do you navigate such a fraught situation?

In this episode, we're discussing family ties, estates, and confronting death, a topic many avoid.

I'm sharing a personal and painful story about Grace. After her mother Patricia's death, she discovered her sister had allegedly taken $350,000 from Patricia's account. This led to a legal fight put Grace through many challenging situations.

And if there's one thing I want you to take away from this episode, it's this: while we may not be able to control death, we can certainly prepare for the aftermath with wisdom and foresight. Let's not be caught dead without having those tough, necessary chats.

If Grace's story resonates with you, or if you've been through something similar, drop me a line. I'm here to listen, share, and support. Until next time, stay savvy and speak openly.

Remember; You may not be ready to die, but at least you can be prepared.

Take care,


Show notes

Guest Bio
Podcast Guest - Image

Grace is a freelance creative professional who lives in rural Victoria. While her parents were still alive, they lived in a regional city in NSW. Her sister, Miriam, lives in the same city. 

After Grace’s father, Henry, died at 86 in 2010, her mother Patricia’s physical and mental health gradually deteriorated. In 2015, she had a fall at home. Hospitalisation followed, then admission to a nursing home. 

After Patricia died at the end of 2020, Grace discovered that Miriam had spent, withdrawn and transferred (to herself and her son) hundreds of thousands of dollars from Patricia’s bank account during her time in the nursing home. Grace had long suspected some degree of misappropriation, but this was way beyond her imagining.  

Believing it would be straightforward to bring Miriam to justice, Grace hired a solicitor based in Patricia’s home city – one recommended by a solicitor friend in common – and commenced legal proceedings. 

The outcome was devastating, and the proceedings far more protracted and expensive than Grace’s original solicitor (she eventually hired another) led her to expect. It’s obvious to her now that had she let the theft rest, she’d be at least $60,000 better off. 

It’s also obvious to her that the frameworks, legalities and practices around estate law, and powers of attorney, are not at all what people commonly assume them to be. Neither fairness nor justice are givens. 

Hers is a cautionary tale of great import for anyone who suspects a relative of elder financial abuse or the intent to commit it. 


This episode isn't just about a financial family feud. It's a warning about the importance of understanding legal matters, especially concerning powers of attorney and discussions about death and inheritance. It's about preparing for what's inevitable – both legally and emotionally.

We look at 

  • The stark reality of elder financial abuse and how it can fracture families.
  • The unexpected legal loopholes and pitfalls when dealing with powers of attorney.
  • The emotional toll of grieving amidst a legal battle and feeling betrayed by those closest.


00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:04,280
Grace: Both Miriam and I had
powers of attorney, but I chose

00:00:04,280 --> 00:00:06,700
not to exercise those powers.

00:00:07,340 --> 00:00:12,080
That is to check my mother's
financial affairs because she

00:00:12,089 --> 00:00:14,370
had asked me specifically not to.

00:00:14,419 --> 00:00:19,240
So after mum died, I spoke
with her solicitor and.

00:00:20,210 --> 00:00:24,250
He got hold of the bank statements
for me for the previous five years.

00:00:24,370 --> 00:00                        ... Read More



  • Remember: Always seek professional legal advice on your own specific situation.


  • 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374) is a free call phone number that automatically redirects callers seeking information and advice on elder abuse with the phone service in their state or territory. The phone line has been set up in collaboration with state and territory governments.




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