Last night, the Tonight program on ITV "Fraud: Robbing the Elderly" highlighted the rise in older people falling victim to theft and fraud crimes. The ITV reporter Helen Skelton investigated the concerning increase in older people falling victim to theft and fraud crimes.

"The charity Action on Elder Abuse estimated there were 120,000 fraud and personal theft cases affecting over 65’s in England every year. Meanwhile, social service safeguarding reports showed 22,565 cases in 2017/18 of financial/material abuse, affecting mostly the elderly, with illnesses like dementia."

For older people to protect themselves from such theft and potential fraud, we recommend that they put in place Lasting Power of Attorney for their property and financial affairs. 

Lasting Power of Attorney can be completed online but to ensure these are completed appropriately, including the right people as attorneys and suitable safeguards to protect an older or vulnerable client we recommend the involvement of a legal specialist with the appropriate expertise.

A properly prepared Lasting Power of Attorney by a specialist should minimise risk and protect the elderly and vulnerable from falling victim to theft and fraud crimes by third parties.

If there are concerns that someone is misusing a Lasting Power of Attorney this should be reported to the Office of the Public Guardian who will investigate.

About the authors

Katie Nightingale Solicitor

Katie specialises in all matters of Private Wealth, including drafting of wills, trusts, and Lasting Powers of Attorney. She is also available to advise about inheritance tax and lifetime planning.

Tracy Ashby Senior Associate

Tracy is an experienced private wealth solicitor specialising in estate and wealth planning including advice on, and drafting of, wills and trusts, and inheritance tax and succession planning.