Durable Power of Attorney Florida

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Durable Power of Attorney Florida

Is this document only good when somebody dies? My mom is in ICU and my sister is charging on her cards, took money out of her checking account, cashed her life insurance in and took me off. There is a credit card with Mom’s and my name on it with $20,000 open credit. Mom ordered her a card she not liable for the debt. They won’t let me cancel the card. I just don’t want to be responsible for any debt.

Asked on May 21, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A POA is good until someone dies or the person granting it cancels or revokes it: once a person dies, only a will directs what happens with their belongings or possessions. Whomever has the POA can use it now. However, someone with a POA has a legal obligation to use it in the interests and for the benefit of the person who gave her her the POA, not her own interest; a POA is not a license to steal or commit fraud. What your sister is doing may be criminal by draining your mother's money--that money belongs to your mother, not sister, and any power your sister has over it is to manage and use it for your mother's benefit (e.g. pay her medical bills or hire caregivers). You may wish to contact your local prosecutor and/or the state attorney general to report this behavior. If the find her actions illegal, that will also help to insulate you from the consequences of her actions (a person is not generally responsible for another person's criminal acts).


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