A recent criminal case has highlighted how easy it can be for people to become vulnerable to fraudsters, particularly in later life.
Claire Gordon, an actress, died in April 2015 aged 74 leaving an estate worth approximately £1m. Her estate included a cottage in Wiltshire and a property at a beach resort in Egypt.
Iain MacMaster, described as property developer, has been convicted of fraud after Ms Gordon allegedly signed a Will leaving him a large part of her estate. The court found that MacMaster had convinced her to sign a Will when she was ‘not in a fit and proper state’ it was also suggested he may have forged her signature.
Ms Gordon, who had no children, had a previous Will written in 2014 in which she named her cousins and their children as beneficiaries. This Will mysteriously disappeared.
MacMaster is due to be sentenced on 28 June and could receive a lengthy jail sentence. However, this does not take away the stress and upset caused to Ms Gordon’s family.
At Atherton Godfrey we can help you put measures in place to protect you if you become vulnerable.
If we prepare a Will on your behalf its contents remain confidential during your lifetime. The Will is only released to another person with your express permission and after your death it is only released to your executors.
You can ensure that during your lifetime you are protected by appointing someone you trust to act as your attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney for your property and finances. Within this document you can also give explicit consent for your attorney to receive a copy of your Will. Your attorney can therefore ensure that your Will is safe and reflects your current wishes.
If you would like to have a no obligation chat about your options, please contact our friendly team on 01302 320621.
Author: Katy Burgin
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