An Overview of Durable Power of Attorney Abuse
AttorneyScott Grossman is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law. He represents clients in cases throughout California
When creating an estate plan, many people opt to execute a durable power of attorney. This document allows the person creating the document, the principal, to appoint someone. This person is called the agent. The agent is required to act on his behalf with regard to his financial affairs. The document is so powerful because it is effective immediately without regard to the principal’s mental capacity. In addition, a power of attorney allows an agent to take nearly all actions that the principal can. But what happens when durable power of attorney abuse occurs? Well, court involvement may be necessary.
An Overview of Durable Power of Attorney Abuse:
The following is an overview of abuse using a durable power of attorney:
- First of all, the agent under a durable power of attorney owes a duty to the principal. This requires the agent to act in a trustworthy manner. They must make decisions that are in the principal’s best interest or that are consistent with decisions that the principal made for himself before losing decision-making capacity.
- Furthermore, abuse of a power of attorney is the misuse by the agent of the authority granted by the principal. This could include spending the principal’s money for the agent’s own benefit or forging the principal’s signature on the power of attorney against his wishes.
- Also, the agent makes a decision or takes an action that is not in the principal’s best interest.
- In conclusion, since court oversight is not usually involved with a durable power of attorney, this can be a real issue when the principal becomes incapacitated. The agent will be able to take any action that it wishes without the principal having the capacity to monitor these actions.
If you suspect that a loved one’s agent under a power of attorney is acting improperly, it is crucial that you act quickly. The longer that you wait, the higher the risk that the assets of your loved one could be lost permanently. We are here to help. Call us today for guidance at our toll free number.