Financial abuse by attorneys is unfortunately becoming increasingly common. It can involve:
As has been widely reported, the actress Margaret Wright (better known as Meg Wynn Owen) who appeared in ‘Love Actually’, was swindled out of her life savings by her friend Brian Malam, who she had entrusted to manage her property and financial affairs.
Ms Wright suffered from dementia and had mental capacity issues. She resided in a care home in her later years. She had appointed her long-time friend Brian Malam to manage her property and financial affairs on her behalf under a lasting power of attorney (LPA). Sadly, Mr Malam abused his position and used Ms Wright’s finances for his own personal gain.
Mr Malam was sentenced to 32 months in prison as a result of his actions.
If someone you know appears to be a victim of financial abuse you should take action immediately. If there is an attorney or deputy, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) must be notified. The OPG is responsible for investigating concerns and allegations of abuse against an attorney or deputy.
Anyone can report a deputy or attorney to the OPG if they have concerns about their actions. You can report your concerns to the OPG by using their form OPG130 or by contacting the OPG directly at:
Office of the Public Guardian, PO Box 16185, Birmingham, B2 2WH
0115 934 2777
You should include as much of the following information you have available when contacting the OPG:
If the OPG is satisfied that there appear to be reasonable grounds to suggest that the best interests of the donor are not being met, they will carry out an investigation into the actions of the attorney or deputy, and if appropriate, action may be taken against the attorney/deputy.
If there is no deputy or attorney in place, you can still raise a Safeguarding Alert with the local Social Services Safeguarding Adults team, who should investigate allegations of financial abuse and, where appropriate, involve the relevant authorities.
Our team of specialist lawyers have extensive experience of dealing with a range of different circumstances where there is a dispute as to the management of a person’s property and financial affairs. We routinely assist with:
For more information, you can contact us on freephone 0800 0931336, or by email email@example.com for a no obligation chat to see how we can help you.