AN ELDERLY Wigan couple, sold worthless legal documents by a rogue trader, are urging others who have used his services to check before it is too late.
Marjorie and Eric Oldfield discovered their will and power of attorney papers were not legally sound after a reputable solicitors had been asked to update them.
It was pure coincidence that our children spotted in the paper days later that Eaton had been in court. We had paid him £1,200 back in 2012Eric Oldfield
Their original documents had been provided by Samuel Eaton, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to four trading standards offences in relation to creating bogus wills.
Mr and Mrs Oldfield, of Sheldon Avenue, Standish, told the Evening Post “they had been lucky” to find out their documents were not legally sound but others who used the rogue trader’s service need to double-check.
Mr Oldfield said: “We had a change of circumstances and went to Platt and Fishwicks to get our papers changed. They told us a lot of the clauses were contradictory and contained mistakes.
“It was pure coincidence that our children spotted in the paper days later that Eaton had been in court. We had paid him £1,200 back in 2012.
“We have had to pay to get our documents updated but we’re counting ourselves lucky. There may be families out there who are in the same position who have these papers in their house that are meaningless.”
Eaton, 66, who lives in Lincolnshire, will appear at
Liverpool Crown Court later this month for sentencing. An earlier hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard he had contacted residents in the borough offering advice and services in regard to wills, trusts and power of attorney matters.
But the documents Eaton provided, for prices of around £1,000, contained clauses which contradicted each other and would have required further legal clarification.
Wigan Trading Standards officers, who led the investigation, contacted Paul Sharpe of the Professional Willwriters organisation who said the documents were “sub-standard”.
The court heard Mr Sharpe added that the documents “contained ambiguity in regard to the wishes of the client”.
The Oldfields, who are great-grandparents, said Eaton, who traded under the company names The Pensioners’ Association and The Senior Citizen Advice Centre, had assured them the documents were genuine and any mistakes would be rectified.
Mrs Oldfield said: “It has been a fiasco, even when he took them back to re-do them, they came back with mistakes such as the wrong date of births.
“We got to the stage because we were so unhappy we wrote to his main office address in Manchester but the letter was returned to sender.”
Speaking after the court hearing in Wigan, trading standards manager Julie Middlehurst said a number of complaints had been made about Eaton’s service but a number of elderly residents had not wanted to go through the ordeal of a trial.
Wigan Trading Standards said anyone who used Eaton’s services can contact officers if they have concerns on 01942 827476.