Second Man On Moon Says He Does Not Need Guardianship
Expert solicitors at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth are warning that the mismanagement and abuse of lasting power of attorneys (LPAs) is on the rise following the news that Buzz Aldrin is suing his family for mismanagement of his finances.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, is now suing his two youngest children and his former manager following their attempted petition to be named as his legal guardians, citing excessive spending and associations with new friends who intended to alienate his family.
Mr Aldrin is now suing the three in US courts, alleging they had unlawfully taken control of his finances and had prevented him from getting married. Mr Aldrin’s mental state will be assessed later this week.
Though this case is based in the US, experts in later life planning at Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth are warning the mismanagement and abuse of LPAs and guardianships is becoming increasingly common.
LPAs are designed to protect those who have lost capacity by appointing a trusted third-party to make decisions on their behalf. However, the reality can quickly turn into a nightmare if an elderly or vulnerable person is taken advantage of and has an LPA put in place when they are not mentally sound or appointed someone who is not fit to undertake the role.
Expert Opinion“Abuse of LPAs is increasing year on year as they become more common and sadly it’s much more prevalent than people realise. Every week there is a new story on an elderly or vulnerable person whose entire life savings have been drained in a matter of months, but these reports only scratch the surface.
“There is a complete lack of understanding surrounding LPAs and just how much power they give to a third party. They’re designed to help people but it can easily turn the other way if specialist help isn’t involved.” Kelly Greig - Partner
Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) published a white paper report this week on the ‘incapacity crisis’ the UK faces because of the aging population paired with a lack of planning for the future.
They found that while 12.8m people in the UK over the age of 65 are at risk of developing dementia, only 928,000 Health and Welfare LPAs are registered. While 73% of the population are concerned about losing capacity, 36% of people had not prepared in any way for later life.
Kelly continued: “Planning for later life is not something people want to think about let alone speak to family and friends about and it can all too easily be cast to the back of one’s mind. However, the UK’s adult population is at serious risk of being exploited by nefarious parties if prior planning isn’t considered.
Most people understand that you need a will and a pension, but LPAs haven’t really reached that level yet despite people living longer and healthcare improving year on year.
“It’s vital to seek advice at the earliest opportunity. What you may consider to be an unimportant expense may save your family a huge amount of money, time and heartache later down the line."