Agent’s Gone Wild!

2015-10-07T12:42:10-04:00October 7th, 2015|Abuse, Power of Attorney Abuse|

Aunt Gertrude knows that she may need help one day, and her niece Milly has been asking her to come and visit the assisted living home in her town, Blissful Living. Aunt Gertrude has a few friends who live there – one of them calls the place ‘pure bliss’ while the other calls it “B S Living” in a rather un-kind way.

While Aunt Gertrude is visiting Blissful Living, she is asked if she would sign some papers, simply to ‘get her ready’ in case one day she decides to move there. She signs the papers at her Niece Milly’s suggestion. […]

Power of Attorney: This Isn’t Fun Anymore

2015-03-26T12:55:03-04:00March 26th, 2015|Abuse, Power of Attorney Abuse|

When Aunt Gertrude asked her niece Milly to be her Agent on her Power of Attorney document, Milly was only too happy to oblige. She loves her Aunt Gertrude. For the first few years, there was little to do because Aunt Gertrude was able to care for herself and make her own decisions. Both of them were happy.

Fast forward a few years and Aunt Gertrude is now in assisted living. Aunt Gertrude still insists that she can care for her own personal and financial needs. Except that she really can’t, she just doesn’t recognize it. So Milly has to “help” […]

Power of Attorney Abuse:

2015-01-08T13:32:33-05:00January 8th, 2015|Abuse, Power of Attorney Abuse|

Aunt Gertrude trusts her niece Milly; that’s why she appointed Milly to be her agent on her power of attorney document. Milly does not have any special training, she is simply a good- natured, good-hearted niece to Aunt Gertrude and she wants to help her Aunt. She has a high school degree and is reasonably intelligent. That’s good enough, right?

There was a time when I would have answered, “The most important thing is that you have a high level of confidence in the agent you have chosen. She can learn how to handle things, and she can always call on […]

Power of Attorney Abuse – Attorney Induced Abuse

2014-11-03T14:19:53-05:00November 3rd, 2014|Abuse, General, Power of Attorney Abuse|

For this vignette, imagine that dear Aunt Gertrude is slipping mentally, but she is okay, day to day. Gertrude’s husband Joe and Aunt Gertrude have been married for over 40 years. Joe is fit as a fiddle. Aunt Gertrude appointed her niece Milly on her Power of Attorney document because she thought it would be best to have someone younger as her agent.

Today, Uncle Joe and Aunt Gertrude see the attorney about some estate planning matters – they are looking to the future when Gertrude may need to be cared for in a nursing home. Uncle Joe and the attorney […]

Power of Attorney Abuse: Changes in the Law, not in Morality

2014-07-21T10:57:32-04:00July 21st, 2014|Abuse|

            The law has changed concerning the Power of Attorney document. There are many technical changes, some which deal with protecting the principal, that is, the person signing the document. There are some changes which protect the banks and others from reliance on a defective power of attorney document.

            The thing that did not change, and likely cannot change, is that the person who is appointed as the agent, or attorney-in-fact, for the principal, still has a moral obligation to do the “right thing.”  Many hours, and countless cups of coffee (or glasses of adult beverages) have been imbibed while […]

Power of Attorney Abuse: How Do I Reign Her In?

2014-04-29T15:18:17-04:00April 29th, 2014|Abuse|

            Suppose Aunt Gertrude, who is up in years, has appointed her dear, sweet niece Milly to be her attorney in fact (commonly referred to as her “power of attorney”). What if Milly starts taking actions which take advantage of Aunt Gertrude? What should she do?

            The short answer is to remove Milly. When? Now.

            That, unfortunately, is sometimes easier said than done. Aunt Gertrude may be dependent upon Milly for daily chores, banking, and even simple things like grocery shopping. Aunt Gertrude may feel helpless. There are a few things that can be done.

            First, Aunt Gertrude can phone […]

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