A Power of Attorney can be misused to financially exploit an elderly person

A Power of Attorney can be misused to financially exploit an elderly person
A Power of Attorney can be misused to financially exploit an elderly person

A Power of Attorney can be misused to financially exploit an elderly person

In this last part of a 4 part blog, we focus on the serious harm caused when people misuse the powers granted in a Power of Attorney to financially exploit an elderly person.  This is a serious problem.  Read all of 4 parts of this blog to learn about the scope of the problem and what you can do to stop the problem from happening. A Power of Attorney can be misused to financially exploit an elderly person and is wrong.

What can I do to prevent POA abuse?

An Agent granted POA must be a close and trusted individual – someone you fully believe will make decisions in accordance with your needs and wishes. Never grant POA to a stranger, and be extremely cautious with financial advisors, caregivers, or other paid acquaintances.
Make sure to keep trusted family members, friends, and advisors informed about who has POA status. Be sure to retain all access and control to your financial, medical, and personal records, and follow-up often to make sure no sudden or unauthorized changes have been made.
Ensure that you retain the right to take back POA under any circumstance, and do not release POA unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Be very cautious of signing any POA, as it typically affords the agent total or near-complete power over your affairs.

What resources are available for victims of POA fraud?

The types of abuses that can be committed with POA are vast and serious. It is critical to remember that forcing an elder to grant a POA against their will could be an act of POA abuse in and of itself. POA abuse is often an instance of financial exploitation, which is illegal and punishable by federal and Texas state laws.

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered POA abuse or elder abuse in Texas contact my law firm at 972-772-6100 or email me at jack@jackrobinson.com. Also contact The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-252-5400 or visit their website www.everyonesbusiness.org

Wrongful use of a Power of Attorney is financial abuse the elderly

Wrongful use of a Power of Attorney is financial abuse the elderly
Wrongful use of a Power of Attorney is financial abuse the elderly

Wrongful use of a Power of Attorney is financial abuse the elderly

In this 3rd part of a 4 part blog, we focus on the serious harm caused when people misuse the powers granted in a Power of Attorney to financially exploit an elderly person.  This is a serious problem.  Read all of 4 parts of this blog to learn about the scope of the problem and what you can do to stop the problem from happening. Power of Attorney misuse to financially exploit the elderly is wrong.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Every person granted POA owes a fiduciary duty to the Principal. These duties include, but are not limited to: keeping the elder informed about the status and any changes to the elder’s finances, medical affairs, and other accounts or information covered by the agreement; receiving consent from the elder before reaping any profit from the elder’s accounts or finances; maintaining and acting according to the elder’s interests at all times; and refraining from transferring any of the elder’s property. Failure to abide by these duties, or any breach of these duties, may constitute POA abuse.

Who is at risk for POA abuse?

A POA is usually granted to provide for elderly, sick, and disabled individuals who are already in emotionally and physically vulnerable positions. For this reason, dishonest individuals who seek opportunities to swindle funds from unsuspecting elders are drawn to commit POA abuses and other types of physical and financial elder abuse.
Elders who live alone or who have few close relatives may be susceptible to POA abuse. In many cases, a distant relative will resurface in the elder’s life and offer to sign a POA agreement by promising to provide adequate medical care for the elder. In other instances, fraudulent estate planners or trust managers will promise to manage the elder’s finances, but designate themselves POA in order to exploit or otherwise defraud the elder.

Signs of POA Abuse

  • As listed above, POA abuse can manifest itself in many ways. Be aware of the following potential signs and symptoms of power-of-attorney abuse.
    A sudden an inexplicable change in the finances of medical affairs of the Principal
  • Secrecy or reluctance to communicate by the Agent
  • The Agent’s refusal or reluctance to share financial information or records with the Principal
  • Any signs that the Agent is making decisions on behalf of the Principal without consulting or gaining consent from the Principal
  • Any demands that the Principal sign unfamiliar or unexplained documents
  • Any signs of financial exploitation, identity theft, fraud, or financial abuse

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered POA abuse or elder abuse in Texas contact my law firm at 972-772-6100 or email me at jack@jackrobinson.com. Also contact The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-252-5400 or visit their website www.everyonesbusiness.org

Stop financial abuse of the elderly through Power of Attorney misuse

Stop financial abuse of the elderly through Power of Attorney misuse
Stop financial abuse of the elderly through Power of Attorney misuse

Stop financial abuse of the elderly through Power of Attorney misuse

In this 2nd part of a 4 part blog, we focus on the serious harm caused when people misuse the powers granted in a Power of Attorney to financially exploit an elderly person.  This is a serious problem.  Read all of 4 parts of this blog to learn about the scope of the problem and what you can do to stop the problem from happening. Power of Attorney misuse to financially exploit the elderly is wrong.

Financial Abuse and Exploitation

Because most powers of attorney allow complete control over the Principal’s finances, perpetrators of power-of-attorney abuse may steal or embezzle funds from the Principal’s account for personal use while claiming that it will benefit the elder. If an agent uses an elder’s finances or assets for personal benefit, the agent may be guilty of conversion.
Any instance of appropriating an elderly or ill Principal’s funds for personal use could constitute financial exploitation. If an agent uses their POA status to make purchases, investments, or other financial transactions for their own benefit instead of the Principal’s, they are committing power-of-attorney abuse.

Fraud, Forgery, and Identity Theft

With full access to the Principal’s accounts and personal information, a POA scammer might open bank accounts, credit cards, or purchase annuities and insurance products in the elder’s name. These actions, bordering on identity theft, could hold the Principal accountable for any fraud or illegal conduct committed by the Agent under the guise of the Principal. Furthermore, the agent may commit welfare fraud or tax fraud using the Principal’s name and personal information, thus furthering the harm done to the elder at the gain of the Agent.
Another instance of fraud and forgery is the act of changing the principal’s estate or beneficiary designations to benefit the agent against the wishes or without the consent of the Principal.
Medical Abuse
In what could be an instance of physical abuse, an agent granted may make inappropriate and harmful medical decisions on behalf of the Principal. These decisions include, but are not limited to: committing the elderly agent to a nursing facility; making unnecessary and expensive medical appointments or purchases; or failing to place the elder in an appropriate medical facility or access to adequate care. Whether out of malice or negligence, these actions could constitute power-of-attorney abuse.

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered POA abuse or elder abuse in Texas contact my law firm at 972-772-6100 or email me at jack@jackrobinson.com. Also contact The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-252-5400 or visit their website www.everyonesbusiness.org

Hurting The Ones You Love: Stop financial abuse of the elderly through misuse of a Power of Attorney

Hurting The Ones You Love: Stop financial abuse of the elderly through misuse of a Power of Attorney
Hurting The Ones You Love: Stop financial abuse of the elderly through misuse of a Power of Attorney

Hurting The Ones You Love: Stop financial abuse of the elderly through misuse of a Power of Attorney

In this 1st part of a 4 part blog, we focus on the serious harm caused when people misuse the powers granted in a Power of Attorney to financially exploit an elderly person.  This is a serious problem.  Read all of 4 parts of this blog to learn about the scope of the problem and what you can do to stop the problem from happening.

Misuse of a Power of Attorney to financially exploit the elderly is wrong. A Power of Attorney (POA) recognizes and legally allows for one individual – usually a trusted relative or family friend – to make a wide variety of decisions on behalf of another individual who may be elderly, frail, ill, handicapped, or incapacitated. A POA Attorney affords an immense degree of power and influence to the person bearing that status (often called the agent), and with that comes the capacity for significant abuse.

POA abuse targets those who cannot adequately care for themselves: typically elderly, sick, and disabled people. An agent is granted POA in order to aid with legal, financial, medical, and other decisions. For this reason, the agent also often has access to funds, property, and personal information.

What is Power of Attorney?

A POA is a legal document that establishes a relationship between two people: the Principal and the Agent. The Principal designates or authorizes the Agent to act on his or her behalf. The POA or POA is the document that grants the authority of the Agent over the Principal.
Typically, the POA contract remains valid until the Principal rescinds it, passes away, or loses mental capacity. While this arrangement is typically intended to ensure the fulfillment of the Principal’s wishes and decisions in case of incapacity or incompetence, this situation can leave the Principal particularly vulnerable to financial abuse, since the agreement gives almost limitless power to the Agent over the Principal’s financial and other matters.

How can a Power of Attorney be abused?

POA abuse occurs when the Agent in the agreement takes advantage of his or her position and makes decisions on the Principal’s behalf that benefit the Agent without the Principal’s knowledge or consent. Power-of-Attorney abuse can take any number of forms, the most common of which is financial abuse.

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered POA abuse or elder abuse in Texas contact my law firm at 972-772-6100 or email me at jack@jackrobinson.com. Also contact The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-252-5400 or visit their website www.everyonesbusiness.org

Do They Know What You Want When The End Arrives? Why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney Is An Important Document!

Why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney Is An Important Document To Have!
Why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney Is An Important Document To Have!

If You Were Incapacitated, Who Do You Want to Make Your Medical Decisions for You?

Because this is an important question, it is important to know why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney is an important document to have!

Do they know your religious beliefs? How about what conditions you would want the Doctor to cease providing medical care? Have you taken the steps to ensure that this person can legally make these decisions for you?
It Is A Lot Harder To Pull the Plug Than You Think

Decisions concerning end-of life care and incapacity can be the most difficult decisions for anyone to make. Most often, these types of decisions are left to loved ones; and in so many situations these decisions tear families apart. Most people however, don’t want to discuss these topics, and don’t know where to start.

Because this is an important issue, it is important to why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney is an important document to have!

The solution to this problem is the Texas Medical Power of Attorney

A Medical Power of Attorney is a document signed by an individual, or “Principal,” that designates who will make almost all medical decisions concerning the end of life or life after incapacity. Once a person becomes incapacitated the power granted under the Medical Power of Attorney kicks in and the named agent is allowed to act on the Principal’s behalf.

Remember, this doesn’t just mean unresponsive or unconscious because someone can be incapacitated, or incompetent, and still be fully awake and communicating.

It is very important when deciding to designate someone as your agent under a Medical Power of Attorney to ask permission of this person. You don’t want them to be thrust into making difficult decisions that they never agreed to make.

Further, you want to choose someone you would trust with your life – because that’s exactly what is happening. In most instances the person named is a spouse or other family member who knows the principal best.

It is also extremely important to discuss your wishes with that person. If you name an individual in a Medical Power of Attorney and never tell them what you want, you put them in a position of great power and burden and risk them making a decision you would never want to live with.

Because these are all important issues, it is important to why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney is an important document to have!

What Can A Person Do Who Had Been Named The Agent Under A Texas Medical Power of Attorney?

Generally, an agent named in a Medical Power of Attorney can make any decision for the principal that the principal could make for themselves if they were not incapacitated. However, before the Medical Power of Attorney becomes effective, the principal’s attending physician must certify in writing that the principal is incompetent.

An agent must then act, to the best of their ability, in accordance with the principal’s wishes and religious beliefs. The agent may not, however, consent to certain treatments such as convulsive treatment, psychosurgery or abortion.

Please note, however, if a principal objects to a treatment or the withholding of treatment, the principal’s wishes prevail regardless of the effectiveness of the Power of Attorney or the competence of the principal.

Because these are all important issues, it is important to why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney is an important document to have!

Is there an expiration date?

The Medical Power of Attorney is effective unless it is revoked by the principal or if the principal regains competency. Therefore, it can be revoked at any time by signing a new document or giving notice to the agent that the document has been revoked.

A Medical Power of Attorney may further be revoked by a divorce between the principal and named agent if they were married at the time of signing the document unless the Medical Power of Attorney states otherwise.

Because these are all important issues, it is important to why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney is an important document to have!

Getting A Texas Medical Power Of Attorney Is Something Every Texan Needs To Do Today!

Statistics show that you are most likely going to become incapacitated before you actually die. Planning for your incapacitation is not difficult, nor is it even expensive, and it is something that you have to do now while you are healthy.

Give yourself some peace of mind, and give your family some peace of mind because they will have enough things to worry about when the time comes. If you have questions or need more information about why a Texas Medical Power of Attorney is an important document to have, call me today! No charge for the initial consultation.