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How to check if a COVID-19 patient has an attorney or deputy

Leah Woodnott
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The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) has recently published guidance notes detailing how NHS staff or local authorities in England and Wales can check to see whether a COVID-19 patient has a Deputyship Order, lasting power of attorney or...

COVID-19: the first Court of Protection trial via Skype

Lisa Cox
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Last week the Court of Protection set a precedent conducting the first all-Skype trial in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus. If successful this could be a model for how the Court of Protection could continue to operate through this global health...

Who manages someone's affairs when a person goes missing?

Lisa Cox
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In July 2019, the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 finally came into force. This act has been long-awaited for families with missing loved ones. Birkett Long represented the claimant in the first claim of this kind in the Chancery Division of the...

The new Guardian (Missing Persons) Act

Lisa Cox
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Last year I wrote that the Guardian (Missing Persons) Act 2017 would hopefully come into force by the end of July this year. Thankfully, that hope has just become a reality as the Act comes into force today. The Act will enable the court to appoint a...

Inheritance disputes at an all time high

Amanda Smallcombe
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There has been a recent rise in the number of inheritance disputes being heard in court. One of the main reasons for this is due to DIY wills. They may seem like an attractive alternative to instructing a solicitor, but, more often than not, they cause...

The repercussions of a family Christmas

Amanda Smallcombe
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Clive Shaw took his parents to court after a falling out at Christmas in 2016. As a result of this falling out, Clive was removed from his parents’ will and was no longer to inherit the farm owned by his parents. Clive argued that he had relied upon...

Millionaire's postcard will found valid!

Leah Woodnott
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Last month, the High Court of New Zealand held a will scrawled on the back of a postcard to be valid. Kathleen Steiner, a New Zealand millionaire, died aged 59, leaving an estate of circa $2.5 million.  Steiner did not formally prepare a will and...

Lodger disputes

Leah Woodnott
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A recent case highlights the vulnerable position when cohabitees unexpectedly survive their partners.  Background Sarah Campbell died unexpectedly in 2015 when she was flying to the Canary Islands. Sarah left a valid will and named her son, James...

Psychiatrist forged patient's will

Rachel Leech
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Psychiatrist forged patient’s will to inherit her £1.3 Million estate A NHS psychiatrist, Dr Alemi, has been found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 5 years in prison after exploiting her 84 year old patient, Mrs Belham.  Mrs Belham was...

The new Guardian (Missing Persons) Act 2017

Lisa Cox
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Approximately 250,000 people go missing each year in England and Wales. Around 1% of those are missing for over a year. In this time, the person’s assets may dissipate, their property may fall into disrepair and any dependents of the missing person...

"princess" cannot manage her finances

Leah Woodnott
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Judge rules Hawaiian “princess” cannot manage her finances and protects her from financial abuse 92 year old, Abigail Kawananakoa, who native Hawaiians consider to be a “princess”, has been found to lack mental capacity to make...

Carer stole from client with Dementia

Leah Woodnott
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  Worcester Magistrates Court has recently made an example out of Sarah Isles, a carer who stole from a 91 year old woman who suffers from dementia.    Sarah stole over a thousand pounds from the elderly woman by stealing her bank card,...

Aretha Franklin dies without making a will

Leah Woodnott
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Soul singer, Aretha Franklin, died last month aged 76 without making a will, despite being worth millions. As her family move on from her funeral, they are left with the uncertainty of not knowing how her estate will be divided. Aretha’s attorney,...

Keep your will up to date, you never know when you will need it

Rachel Leech
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A recent case highlights the importance of keeping your will up to date after two minor children had to make a claim against their father’s estate for financial provision. However, despite the estate being worth £3.5 million, the court only...

Looking after the finances of someone with dementia

Leah Woodnott
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  The Solicitors for the Elderly has published a report stating that the number of people diagnosed with dementia in the UK has increased by more than 50% in the last 11 years and now stands at 540,000.    What is dementia?   ...

Mental Capacity Act 2005 applications at record levels!

Leah Woodnott
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  The number of applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to the Court of Protection are running at record levels according to the Family Court statistics.   Between January to March 2018, there were 8,089 applications made under...

Millionaire's partner left nothing in will!

Leah Woodnott
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Millionaire, Wynford Hodge died aged 94 last year, leaving nothing to his long-term partner Joan Thompson, aged 79, who he had been cohabiting with for 42 years leading up to his death. Wynford had an estate worth more than £1.5 million when he died...

Personal budget for care costs - are affected?

Rachel Leech
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It has been announced in the news this morning that personal budgets for care costs will be rolled out to 350,000 people. When the local authority agrees to pay for someone’s home care needs, personal budgets allow people to be in charge of their care...

Objection!

Leah Woodnott
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The Office of the Public Guardian’s annual report has stated 57,702 deputyship orders were being supervised as at 31 March 2017. Of that 57,702, they received 5,327 safeguarding referrals during 2016/2017. When a person has lost capacity and they can...