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Warning to Dementia Suffers about Elder Abuse

View profile for Joanne Jones
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Lawyers are fighting for changes to the law to safeguard dementia sufferers against financial disadvantage.  Those suffering with dementia seem to be a target for crooks who befriend them, coerce them into getting married purely to inherit their money.

‘Caring Friends’

These offenders often pose as ‘caring friends’ who then take advantage of the legal loophole mean that the loving families of dementia sufferers will miss out on their inheritance.

Many also won’t realise that once they are married any previous Will passing inheritance to their own children and grandchildren becomes invalid.

Intestacy

Under the intestacy laws the tricksters will inherit most of their new partner’s money.  In affect under these laws the dementia sufferer dies without a Will.

Many people don’t realise that when someone gets married an existing will is automatically revoked.

Vulnerable widows and widowers may not realise the financial consequences of marrying.  They often fall for the companionship and are not aware of the implications.  Sometimes they don’t even know they have even got married so this can be a complete shock to their families who are really caring for them.

How to reduce the risk

Anyone deemed mentally unfit is unable to make a Will but in comparison it is relatively easy to get married.  That’s where the weakness is in the legal system – it allows crooked companions to strike.  They can get married fairly easily and then inherit wealth without any difficulties.

Even after getting married a dementia sufferer cannot make a new Will as they will be deemed incapable.

Anyone wanting to include their families in their Will but also accommodate a future marriage can make a will ‘contemplation of marriage.’

Jo Jones, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate for Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers recommends that families who are concerned about a relative who is unaware of the financial implications of later life marriage should seek legal advice.

For further information on Wills please contact are Wills, Trusts and Probate team on 0161 785 3500

 

 

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers LLP or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.