‘An issue of justice and fairness’: Fraudsters are conning elderly people out of life savings by marrying them
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 27/07/2021
Fraudsters are thought to be increasingly conning elderly or vulnerable people out of their life savings by marrying them without their family’s knowledge.
More than 70 families have contacted campaigners to say their loved ones have fallen victim to the scam, denying them their inheritance.
As the law stands, marriage revokes any previously made wills, even when the bride or groom has dementia.
Labour MP Fabian Hamilton, who has been trying to change that law since 2018, told Sky News that since raising the problem at PMQs last month he has held discussions with junior justice minister Lord Wilson.
“This is an issue of justice and fairness and stopping the few unscrupulous people from exploiting what I believe is a loophole in the law,” he said.
“It can be easily amended, it has to be done right, we must make sure that there aren’t unintended consequences of correcting one injustice that creates another, Lord Wilson explained that to me very helpfully, I trust that the government will look at this and move to correct this injustice.”
The campaign for a change in the law was started by Daphne Franks, whose 91-year-old mother Joan Blass married a man despite being diagnosed with dementia three years earlier.
Daphne knew nothing about the marriage until after her mother’s death the following year, and she and her brother lost the inheritance specified in their mother’s will.
Daphne lost a court case against the man who’d married her mother, and he maintains Joan was mentally capable of making the decision.
She says her mother would want her to campaign for a new law to stop wills from being revoked by marriage.
“I think she’d be delighted, she was a real social reformer, she was very ahead of her time, she was very fit, she was very intelligent, she was a real thinker,” she said.
“She was somebody who wanted to improve life for other people, so I’m doing this in her honour really and Aldo because having spoken to other cases I just can’t bear the idea of others going through this.”
© Sky News 2020