On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day the BBC have highlighted the issue of elderly people being targeted by rogue traders in various scams.
Worryingly, people have been sold products that aren’t delivered and have invested in land that doesn’t exist.
Rogue traders are targeting the elderly and using pressure selling, both by visiting the elderly person at home and by telephoning them directly.
Age UK has published two guides which help older people protect themselves against scams. The guides can be found at http://www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matters/consumer-advice/scams-advice/
At Morrisons our solicitors have, sadly, seen elderly people pressured into taking steps that are not in their best interests. Some of the schemes that elderly people are encouraged to invest in are blatant scams, while others may involve proper investments but are entirely unsuitable in the circumstances.
Elderly people may sometimes be persuaded by relatives or friends to make gifts, or to write wills or powers of attorney. This can upset others, who may allege that the elderly person has been unduly pressured to act in that way, even if no pressure has been used or if the elderly person has not been influenced in any way.
We therefore always recommend that elderly people see a solicitor before making a large gift or writing a will or a power of attorney. Not only will the solicitor see the elderly person alone to form a view of their mental capacity and understanding; the solicitor will also be able to provide evidence of the elderly person’s capacity and wishes should any difficulties arise.
If you would like any further information please contact any of our solicitors in the Wills, estates & tax planning department and they will be happy to assist.