A recent Wall Street Journalarticle highlights the increasing occurrence of power of attorney abuse. The article, “Power Grab! Signing Over Power of Attorney to a Loved One Has Never Been Trickier. Here’s What You Need to Know,” discusses how “The ‘power of attorney,’ a legal arrangement that helps older people turn over management of their finances or other business matters to family members or friends, is emerging as a vehicle for fraud”
It can be hard to imagine how a family member might defraud you or steal your money using a power of attorney, but power of attorney abuse is on the rise. In fact, in light of all the increasing incidences of elder abuse, the federal government may enact an Elder Abuse Victims Act.
Using a power of attorney to access financial documents, an agent named in a power of attorney document may try to steal money, run up credit card debt, sell property wrongfully, or otherwise engage in fraud.
How can you make sure the agent you name in your power of attorney doesn’t take money from you? Unfortunately, there is no surefire way. The best thing to do is to really think about the details of your power of attorney when you first set it up with your estate planning lawyer. I recently posted an article about this very topic. For example, when you first set up the power of attorney, you should be cautious in naming your agents and restrict the powers granted.
What do you do if someone is abusing a power of attorney in Texas? If you suspect power of attorney abuse, consult with a lawyer to stop the exploitation immediately. A strongly worded letter from a lawyer may be enough to stop elder abuse. If that’s not enough, the attorney can help you weigh the costs of taking the agent to court. Regardless, if you have any suspicions, don’t wait until it’s too late–or else the estate may be drained before you get around to acting.
Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on how to stop power of attorney abuse, how to stop power of attorney fraud, making a Texas Power of Attorney, a Texas Durable Power of Attorney, or about other Texas estate planning documents. You may also email Wills, Estates, Probate, and Guardianship attorney Isaac Shutt at email@example.com.
You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this blog or to discuss a different legal matter. For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Richardson lawyer for probate, Richardson Wills Lawyer, Richardson estate planning attorney, power of attorney in Richardson, TX, or guardianship attorney in Richardson area.