Power of Attorney Lawyer Chandler, AZ
When someone is appointed as a power of attorney (POA), they receive significant power over someone else’s property and finances. Sometimes, unfortunately, the wrong person is chosen as a power of attorney and can be found to abuse this power. A donor is the person who has authorized another person to act on their behalf. If you are interested in becoming a donor and designating power of attorney authority to another, it is important to do it in such a way that the potential for any abuse is minimized. Consider scheduling a consultation with a Chandler, Arizona power of attorney lawyer who is part of the legal team at Citadel Law Firm PLLC. Our experienced professionals can help you to achieve this critically important goal.
Types of Powers of Attorney
General: A general POA is able to make big decisions regarding the donor’s property and finances. For example, a general power of attorney could pay your bills, conduct transactions on your behalf, or choose a limited power of attorney to sell your car. A general power of attorney ends after the donor has died or is incapacitated, unless the donor chooses to end it prior.
Limited: A limited POA is able to make big decisions regarding a specific item to which they have been assigned. For instance, if the donor was going out of town and needed to sell their car, they could make someone their limited power of attorney to sign over all of the paperwork. A limited power of attorney ends at the completion of the task assigned.
Durable: A durable POA could either be general or limited, however, it stays in effect once the donor has become incapacitated. If the donor became incapacitated without a durable power of attorney, the court would have to assign someone to represent them as a conservator or guardian. The donor’s death is when a durable POA ends.
Springing: A springing POA is similar to a durable power of attorney, however, it does not come into effect until the donor becomes incapacitated. If the donor should have a springing power of attorney, the documents their Chandler, AZ power of attorney lawyer drafts must be very explicit to define incapacity and what should cause them to need a springing power of attorney.
Attorney’s Duty to the Donor and Abuse of Power
The “attorney” under a POA has legal obligation to listen to the direction of the donor or to act in their best interests. The attorney will need to act in a trustworthy manner and make decisions that are most consistent to the decisions the donor had made previously. If you consult an experienced Chandler, AZ power of attorney lawyer to draft your POA properly, the risk that an attorney would abuse his or her POA authority will be minimized, as our firm has extensive experience drafting these documents in a thoughtful, effective way.
Power of attorney abuse is the attorney misusing their authority given to them by the donor. This would be doing something in regards to the donor’s finances or property that is not in the best interest of the donor. If the attorney were to use the donor’s finances to better benefit themselves instead of the donor, this would be an abuse of power. Other examples of power of attorney abuse would be to coerce someone into making them their power of attorney or if the attorney were to forge the donor’s name on the power of attorney.
What Can Be Done?
If there is evidence that the attorney has abused the power of attorney and the donor still has legal capacity, they can revoke the POA. However, if the donor is incapacitated, there are other ways to stop the abuse:
- Ask the courts to provide an accounting of how the attorney has spent the donor’s money
- Sue the attorney for misappropriating the funds of the donor
- Sue the attorney for them to undo any transactions that were not in the interest of the donor
- Ask for the court to appoint a guardian to the donor to monitor the attorney’s actions
In the event that you suspect that a POA already in effect is being abused, please contact an experienced Chandler, AZ power of attorney lawyer for assistance.