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Financial Abuse of Vulnerable Clients

Identifying the tell-tale signs
of Financial Abuse.

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When acting as an Attorney and Deputy sometimes means to scrutinise past and present situations which appear to be alarming or unusual for the person you act for. Unfortunately, this includes the financial abuse of those we represent.

The tell tale signs of financial abuse

Financial abuse is not always clear cut and it can sometimes be difficult to identify. Here are some of the signs of financial abuse that our Court of Protection solicitors keep an eye out for:

Has the protected person made large ‘loans’, deposits or transfers of cash to someone close to them. This is often best identified when investigating historical bank statements

Who has access to the protected person’s bank accounts and are there additional names added to the bank accounts?

Is there someone new that is spending a lot of time with the protected person and it is unclear how they know them? This is a subtle sign alerting our team keep an eye out for

Has the protected person been deliberately isolated from other family, friends or professionals? If so, who does have contact with the protected person?

Has someone moved into the protected person’s home and lives there rent free?

The protected person informs us or someone else that they have been asked to ‘sign’ some papers. Occasionally the protected person can identify what they had been asked to sign and it can include: a power of attorney form, a Will or cheques.

The protected person informs us or someone else that they wish to ‘give’ their property or large assets to another person. This can sometimes be contrary to the protected person’s known wishes and feelings or on other occasions it is alarming if they intend to give it to someone new in their life

A high volume of unpaid bills and debts in their protected person’s name.

The protected person stating they are worried they are low on cash or are not receiving their pension or personal allowance

What we do

Our team experienced solicitors are trained to identify either if financial abuse has already taken place or if there are signs indicating that it may take place.

We work very closely with other professionals involved in the protected person’s life and if we were to suspect abuse has taken place or may take place, we would consider to take the following action:


Notify the allocated Social Worker or Social Services – this would be a potential safeguarding referral and we would ask the local authority carry out a section 42 enquiry (Care Act 2014) .

Make a police complaint.

Notify the Land Registry if it relates to real estate.

Notify the DWP.

Inform the care home and family and friends.

Assess whether it is appropriate to make an application to the Court of Protection to remedy the loss.

Court of Protection

Court of Protection


Statutory Wills

Financial Abuse of Vulnerable Clients


Our Court of Protection services:

Advising on options and process

Applying to the Court of Protection

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Putting the court’s decision into practice


Contested applications

Statutory Wills

Financial abuse of vulnerable clients

Disputes at the Court of Protection

For legal advice on looking after the needs of someone challenged with mental incapacity, complete the form below, email us at or call us on +44(0)20 8965 4266.

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    Gillhams Solicitors LLP. is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No:488436