Disputed Wills and Trusts
Financial Abuse is the term used when somebody is stealing or defrauding another person of their money or property and that person is usually elderly or vulnerable.
A common type of financial abuse is the misuse of a Power of Attorney. This can happen where a person has been appointed as an Attorney to manage another’s property and financial affairs and act in that person’s best interest; however they instead use the Power of Attorney for their own financial gain.
Financial abuse often occurs because an elderly or vulnerable person is seen as an easy target and this is particularly the case if they are dependant, unwell, confused, or losing mental capacity.
The abuser is often a relative or close friend who may attempt to justify their actions by saying that the person gifted them the money or property, or they are just getting their inheritance early.
The abuser could also be a partner, friend, neighbour, social worker, or a professional such as an accountant or solicitor.
Signs to look out for:
- Additional names being placed on a bank account so the account is held in joint names.
- Unexplained withdrawals of large sums of money from a bank account.
- Regular transfers of money to another’s bank account for no apparent reason.
- Regular cheques being written out.
- Cash going missing from the home or purse.
- Property or a share in a property being transferred to someone for no value or at an undervalue.
- Disappearance of valuable personal possessions such as art or jewellery.
What we can do for you?
If you are concerned that someone you know may be being financially abused please contact a member of the Disputed Wills and Trusts Team. We are always happy to talk on an initial no obligation and informal basis so please email or call one of the team.