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My fatheres wife died two years
ago and her daughter became his
poa and over a two years time she
closed his bank account which he
had for over 30 years and opened
another one and started to make
online transfers of very big
amounts of money to other accounts
with out his knowledge. Is that
abuse of poa and can we file
charges against the poa for abuse

Asked on June 9, 2016 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is very likely a violation of the "fiduciary duty," or obligation to exercise the authority conferred by the POA in the interest of the principal (the person granting the power; your father), which law imposes on the agent (person given the power; his wife's daughter). Depending on the exact circumstances, it could be criminal; even if not, it is something which can be sued over to recover the money, if the transfers were in her interest, not his. However, if your father is mentally competent, only he can take legal action to recover his money; if legally competent and he is content to let her due this, then she has done nothing wrong, since he has validated her actions. If you feel he is not mentally competent and is being taken advantage of by this woman, you will need to try to have him declared incompetent by the courts and a legal guardian appointed; the guardian can then act to protect him. If you want to explore that option, consult with an elder law attorney--it is something for which you will need an attorney's help.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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