Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on May 17th, 2018

How a Power of Attorney Is Used for Financial Abuse

A power of attorney is generally a seemingly innocent document that is a part of many estate plans. This document is used to allow someone else to step in and make financial decisions on the part of the person creating the estate plan. There are many beneficial uses of this document, which is why it is so widely used. Unfortunately, there is also the potential for abuse. When this abuse is suspected, it is very important for loved ones to take action quickly in order to prevent irreparable harm to the estate.

Seven Reasons That a Power of Attorney May Be Used for Financial Abuse

How is this otherwise valuable document used to commit financial abuse? The following is an overview:

  1. A power of attorney is a document that grants a significant amount of power to the individual named. The agent has the authority to make financial decisions and take actions on behalf the person granting the power, also known as the principal. In many ways, they can act in just the same way as the principal.
  2. This power can generally be utilized without requiring the principal to be present or to grant additional authorization.
  3. A power of attorney is relatively easy to draft and execute.
  4. To exercise the power granted under the power of attorney, all the agent needs to do is present the document to the bank or other financial institution at the time of use.
  5. Since it is just one document, powers of attorney can also potentially be forged.
  6. If a person is vulnerable to abuse, they may not fully understand the amount of power that they are granting to their agent or attorney-in-fact.
  7. People may also be fooled by believing that the individual that they named has good intentions and wants to use the power in order to help them.

Acting quickly is crucial to your ability to protect your loved one’s estate when any type of financial abuse is suspected. We understand, however, that abuse may not always be perfectly clear. Our staff is here to answer your questions and provide guidance. In conclusion, we encourage you to initiate a live chat today for more information. Or contact us via our quick and easy online form today.

Power of Attorney (noun):

A legal document giving the authority for another person to act in specified or all legal or financial matters.

Estate (noun):

An estate includes the things that a person owns. The things left by someone who has died can be distributed based on a Will, Trust, or Intestate laws. Estates have to be administered in the Probate Court if the estate meets certain criteria.

Related Links: