Newman Law Group

Power of attorney accused of theft

Choosing an individual who will manage one's affairs can be an important decision. A recent news story highlights a potential problem when the power of attorney is given to the wrong person. A woman hired by the previous power of attorney was able to have the authority transferred to her, which she then allegedly used to pilfer funds from a bank account. People in California contemplating their choice for this role may learn more about why having a trusted person working for them can be vital. 

The role of a power of attorney is to handle the financial affairs of a person who is no longer capable of doing so alone. Often, the person who is given the responsibility is a younger relative or trusted counsel. Many individuals who are older find themselves in need of this type of assistance, such as the 101-year-old woman in the recently reported case. 

The person who had previously held this role for the woman hired the accused thief from an ad. She was looking for a person to help the elderly lady with errands and light-duty tasks. The woman allegedly inserted herself into so many areas of the elderly person's life that she was given power of attorney. It was only after thousands of dollars were found to be missing that it was suspected the caregiver was taking money. 

In California, choosing a power of attorney should be a careful decision. As the news story reveals, this person will have access to financial accounts and the authority to make decisions. Since this role is so powerful, choosing the person who will hold it should be an important part of estate planning. A person who wants support in choosing the individual who will help manage their financial affairs may decide to hire an estate planning attorney for more guidance on the issue. 

Source: ABC 17 News, "Police accuse woman of stealing more than $110,000 from 101-year-old victim", Elizabeth Duesenberg, Nov. 29, 2017

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