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Where there is money, there is opportunity for wrongdoing and a steady stream of cases show that vigilance is needed to prevent the assets of the deceased or elderly being misappropriated. In one case, three cleaners of a deceased South Wales man claimed to have found a copy of a will he was purported to have made which divided his £320,000 estate between them, allegedly in appreciation for their assistance in housekeeping in his final years.
Probate was granted and the three women were beginning to help themselves to the estate before suspicions led the police to investigate. Forensic evidence found the will to be a forgery and the cleaners, who all had previous convictions, were jailed for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
In another case, an elderly man who gave a Lifetime Power of Attorney (LPA) to his carer ended up with his care home charges unpaid after she sold his house and helped herself to assets worth £240,000. She was also jailed for fraud.
These cases illustrate the wisdom of always involving a solicitor in the preparation of LPAs or wills and taking steps to ensure that finances are not controlled by a single person. We can assist by overseeing the operation of LPAs if required or by acting as executors or co-executors of your will.