Power of attorney doesn’t help in tackling predatory marriage

·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Richard Saker/The Observer</span>
Photograph: Richard Saker/The Observer

Thank you for publishing Anna Moore’s article about our campaign against predatory marriage – we have received many supportive emails from readers (Daphne Franks: the woman who lost her much-loved mother to a predatory marriage, 15 September). I’m also grateful to Jenny Pierce from Solicitors for the Elderly for her letter (20 September).

Pierce states that people “should also consider a lasting power of attorney”. That is indeed the case. It is useful for many reasons, but power of attorney has no link with marriage and this applies to both the old enduring power of attorney, or the newer lasting power of attorney. So although I had registered enduring power of attorney for my mother, Joan Blass, because she had advanced vascular dementia and could not make financial decisions, there was no requirement to tell me of the forthcoming marriage.

My mother was allowed, in marrying, to revoke her will, which is essentially the same as making a new one. Even the health and welfare element of the lasting power of attorney has no link to marriage.

I have had people saying to me, in critical tones: “What a shame you didn’t have power of attorney, then you would have found out about the marriage.” Sadly, that is most certainly not the case. It is one of many horrendous gaps in procedure that are failing our elderly and vulnerable.
Daphne Franks
Skipton, North Yorkshire

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