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FAKE Psychiatrist caught out by forged Will

By Frederick Ephrem Parkinson, Solicitor, Head of Probate and Elder Law, Quality Solicitors Acklam Bond

A Fake Psychiatrist who practised unimpeded as a respected, qualified medical practitioner for nearly 22 years was unmasked not by due diligence or responsible scrutiny by the General Medical Council, government departments or the NHS but by the rules and procedures forming part and parcel of the application for probate.

Zholia Alemi who treated 250 elderly patients during an eight-month stint working for the NHS in Cumbria without triggering any scrutiny of her professional credentials, was in the end caught out by a fake Will she had drawn up to steal an elderly patient’s £1.3 million estate.

Zholia Alemi, who despite not having any professional medical qualifications sectioned vulnerable adults and prescribed drugs to treat mental health over the course of her sordid career, was jailed for five years.

Although seen as a triumph for the criminal justice system it is worth remembering that the police would almost certainly have had to resort to the advice of an experienced, Solicitors’ Regulation Authority registered probate solicitor to articulate their case that the Will was indeed forged and invalid according to the provisions of the Wills Act 1837.

The Police will not have resorted to using unregulated Will writers or uninsured legal service providers for reliable advice; and nor should you.

Indeed, this case highlights the very real implications of plans to deregulate the legal service industry to such an extent that it will be difficult for consumers to determine whether they are receiving quality advice or not; a catastrophic scenario that could well give rise to the same travesty that vulnerable patients have experienced in their dealings with Zholia Alemi.

“Although the General Medical Council has apologised for inadequate checks made in the 1990s, there is a sense that they are looking to sweep this under the rug as being a historic problem that no longer arises” says Frederick Parkinson, Solicitor at Quality Solicitors Acklam Bond “but this is unlikely to restore public confidence in a health service that appears to put deployment above client safety in terms of priorities”

The records of some 3,000 licensed medical practitioners are now said to be under review.

Quality Solicitors Acklam Bond prides itself on being regulated by the Solicitors Regulation authority, by the legal service standard Lexcel and under the Quality Solicitors standard of excellence in service.

If you care about the ones you leave behind call or email Quality Solicitors Acklam Bond now for your appointment to discuss your Will and estate planning needs with Frederick Parkinson (01254 872 272/ frederick@acklambond.co.uk ), an experienced and regulated senior solicitor who heads up the Probate and Elder Law Department.

Frederick is supported by a Nationally Recognised Litigation Team offering advice and assistance on dealing with improper conduct in the preparation of Wills and the administration of estates.

If you have concerns as to the improper or negligent conduct of an administration by executors or their advisors call or email Stewart Croft Solicitor (01254 872 272/ stewart@acklambond.co.uk) or Katherine Millray (Director, Solicitor and Head of Litigation) (01254 872 272/ katherinemillray@acklambond.co.uk) now for your appointment.

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