If you are caring for a family member, whether an elderly parent or a vulnerable child, and need help with care funding or safeguarding their future, we can help.
How can we help?
Safeguarding Adults & Children at Risk
Renowned for our personal service and integrated approach we take to care planning and legal support, our well-experienced team help individuals, carers, Attorneys and Court appointed Deputies to achieve the best possible outcome in all aspects of estate planning, care planning and mental capacity.
From assistance with care fees and contracts to Court of Protection applications and the drafting of statutory Wills, our job is to identify the best solutions to safeguard your loved ones no matter how challenging the situation.
Financial abuse of the elderly
Unfortunately, many vulnerable adults become victims of abuse at the hands of those who seek to either take advantage of their lack of capacity or manipulate them for their own personal gain.
If you feel at risk or are worried for the financial security of someone you love, taking immediate action to protect them should be your first step. We understand how such a situation can be extremely distressing and difficult to navigate. Our specialist solicitors can talk you through your options and help you to put in place protective safeguarding measures.
What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse can take many forms, but some more common examples include:
Taking money or property – This might be theft from a purse or taking more money from a cashpoint than authorised. It might also involve over-claiming of benefits by overstating the severity of the situation. It might mean taking away small items from the property without authority.
Overcharging for services – Being asked to pay large amount of money for simple tasks such as gardening or basic property maintenance.
Forging signatures or documents – Where someone’s signature becomes more fragile, it might be easier to forge – perhaps on a cheque or even a Will. Forged wills can sometimes result from family difficulties but sometimes fraudsters target lonely and vulnerable people who do not have any close relatives or friends. In these situations, there may be nobody to challenge the will as no-one knows the true wishes of the person who has died.
Signing documents by coercing or influencing them to sign – Has someone been asked to sign a transfer of shares or a car? What about making a gift?
Wrongful use of Powers of Attorney or Court orders – Acting as an attorney means that someone must abide by the provisions in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its Code of Practice. An attorney cannot use the money that belongs to the donor (other than in very limited circumstances) for anyone other than the donor of that power of attorney. They must keep all money separate and will need authority from the Court of Protection to make large gifts, transfer of property to family members and borrow money. However, mixing money in bank accounts or borrowing money can be financial abuse as this is also not permitted.
What should victims of financial abuse do?
Victims of such abuse are often reluctant to act against their abusers because they feel ashamed of having been taken advantage of, or because they do not want the abusers to withdraw their care and support. Consider whether you should contact the police, adult social care, or the Office of the Public Guardian who may start their own investigations.
If you feel your finances are unsafe under someone’s care or are worried for the financial security of a loved one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at GL Law as soon as you can. We know it’s a tough subject to talk about, but with a helping hand from our specialist solicitors, we can stop the abuse and prevent it from happening in the future. Our aim will be to bring about the best outcome that provides justice, peace of mind and compensation for the abuse suffered while keeping the time involved to a minimum. Moving forward, we will seek to gain a full understanding of your loved one’s financial situation and long-term needs in order to determine which solutions will be best to protect them in the future.
Contact our Long-Term & Elderly Care Solicitors in Bristol or London
Let’s talk. You can call us on 0117 906 9400 or email email@example.com for further information from our long-term and elderly care teams in Bristol and London. Alternatively, please complete our contact form
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