A documentary called “Inheritance Wars – who gets the money” airs on Sunday 1st October at 9pm on channel 5.
In March 2016 Joan Blass was almost 92 years old, with severe vascular dementia and terminal cancer. She was unable to make the simplest decision and never knew that she had remarried just five months before her death.
Daphne tells the story of a secret marriage, a revoked will, an unmarked grave, grooming, gaslighting, a Private Member’s Bill and a campaign to highlight all the issues.
Issues with current safeguards include:
- If the victim has set up a power of attorney, the attorney is not notified if the victim marries.
- Notifications of marriage are displayed on notice boards in register offices and are not easily searchable or listed online.
- No evidence is kept at the point of marriage – no video or audio recordings – once a marriage certificate is attained the following impact on wills is almost impossible to challenge.
- Registrars have responsibility for judgment of mental capacity on the day. These persons may not have training on dementia or mental capacity.
- There is an absence of joined up safeguarding between different relevant organisations and an absence of standardised safeguarding or mental capacity training.