Financial Abuse of Older Clients: Law, Practice and Prevention

Ann Stanyer

£60, Bloomsbury Professional

Ann Stanyer is a partner in the private client department of Wedlake Bell with many years’ experience of working with vulnerable clients. She refers to her reason for writing the book: to increase awareness among professionals and the government in order to prevent the abuse of the elderly.

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One in four care homes is ‘unsafe’

The book’s style is very engaging. It boasts a comprehensive selection of cases that have been through the court, helping professionals to advise clients in ever more complex circumstances. These challenges arise from allegations (or evidence) of abuse of elderly clients, whether financial or otherwise. This book also purports to raise the profile of the issue in the legal profession.

The title adequately covers the content and the book provides a useful overview of all the relevant aspects of dealing with abuse of the elderly client. This is highlighted by Barbara Rich’s foreword, which is supportive of Stanyer’s work.

Chapters of note include: Unauthorised Gifts at 5A, which includes helpful cases involving deputies and a useful summary of relevant considerations. The chapter 5E Undue Influence is particularly clearly written and incisive, while 6B Safeguarding Powers provides a flavour of where local authorities become involved in the protection of the elderly person. The chapter on Investigation and Recovery of Assets in 9C gives useful guidance to attorneys and deputies on the steps open to them.

There are few books on the issue of abuse of the elderly and this provides a good introductory overview, particularly in its use of real case examples.

Stanyer’s passion to raise awareness of financial abuse in the elderly is to her credit. There can be no doubt that she is sincere in her hope that there will be increased awareness in society and appropriate action taken by government to ameliorate the position.

In short, this is a handy introduction to this area of law, particularly for practitioners who may be new to it and for law students.

Jane Bennett is senior partner of JE Bennett Law, Sevenoaks, Kent