Protecting the elderly from financial abuse

Scammers are increasingly targeting older people, with many of the crimes they commit involving bank account fraud or the selling of bogus or unsuitable investments. Although cold calling is to be banned, the elderly can still be contacted in other ways, so its important that their interests are protected.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, with numbers expected to rise to over one million by 2025. The advice from charities caring for the elderly is that everyone should plan for a time when they might not be able to make important decisions about their welfare or finances.

How Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) can help.

LPAs have become much more common in the last decade, not least because TH finance guru Martin Lewis has said he has already taken this step and he’s in his 40’s and believes everyone should consider using LPAs to safeguard themselves and their families.

LPAs are designed to protect you if you lose the ability to make financial decisions or care decisions on your own behalf. Making an LPA allows you to choose someone you know and trust, called your ‘attorney’, to make important decisions should you be unable to do so.

With a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, your attorney has the power to make decisions about money matters on your behalf.

Your attorney(s) can be relatives or friends, your spouse or partner, or a professional adviser.

Without an LPA in place, if you were to lose mental capacity, your friends and family wouldn’t have automatic legal right to step in and take decisions on your behalf. Instead they would need to apply for Deputyship to the Court of Protection, an expensive and time-consuming process.