In 2016, I received a call from a charitable organisation. I was asked if I could advise a 78 year old woman who had just been evicted from a supported living flat that she believed she had bought.
I met with Alice who was supported by an advocate. It was immediately apparent to me that Alice had mental capacity, but was confused and distressed by the situation. She was elderly and had no family to support her, but she had friends and attended a church. As our meeting progressed, the situation became clear; Alice had been introduced to Person A who was well known in the community for helping elderly people who had no family.
Person A quickly endeared themselves to Alice. She was so grateful that someone was prepared to take responsibility for some of the burden that she had shouldered since her only family member had died, that she trusted and came to rely upon them. Person A was kind enough to offer to become her Attorney, and even to make her a will online where they would be her Executor as they had been for her now deceased best friend. This was a great weight lifted off Alice’s mind
Alice was unwell and in hospital suffering from dehydration and exhaustion and was grateful that Person A brought in her Power of Attorney document and Will for signing whilst she was in hospital.
Even more grateful when Person A suggested that she buy a lovely flat with a warden as this was so much easier for her to manage than the big rambling family house that she had inherited. She had inherited enough money to buy the flat. Person A said they would organise it all. Person A even offered to renovate her family house so that she could sell it for more than it was currently worth.
Alice happily moved into the new flat, and was, in fact, enjoying tea and cake with a guest when the warden came to inform her of her eviction.
At the time that I met her, she was living in council accommodation, had a very low bank balance, and only her state pension to live upon.
Five years later, and after litigation and possession proceedings, as well of course, as revocation of LPA, and Will, Alice is back in her flat, her family home has been sold and the money banked for her. She is living calmly and peacefully in the knowledge that she is safe and protected.
Every solicitor in Giles Wilson who has played a part in bringing this conclusion feels emotion and relief; it has taken a huge amount of work and dedication and patience, but equally we all wish that it had never been necessary.
(Names have been changed to protect identity).