A power of attorney is an important and entirely legal document that allows you to name someone to serve as your agent under certain circumstances. As your agent, this person can sign documents on your behalf and take on other financial management tasks. The elderly population, especially those suffering from cognitive issues, are at risk of possible scams associated with powers of attorney.
One of the best ways to protect against this is to work directly with a Pasadena estate planning law firm to ensure that the power of attorney drafted for and used by your loved one reflects their wishes. With this document already created and ready to be used, the possibility of scams is greatly reduced, ensuring that your loved one’s wishes will be followed in the event of an unexpected event.
A scam can occur when an elderly person needs a surgery or suffers an injury like a slip and fall where they’ll be out of commission for daily activities for some time. A distant family member might make the offer to “help” in these situations, but it’s important to be aware of the risk this can include if the family member’s intentions are anything other than to truly help.
When drafted in a certain way, a financial power of attorney gives a lot of opportunity to the agent. They can open, close, and manage existing financial accounts. This is why any person appointed as a POA agent in California should be someone you trust to manage the affairs of the power of attorney creator.
While most family members are truly motivated by a desire to help, even seemingly minor mistakes can be catastrophic for someone with substantial assets set aside for retirement. By handing over the power to someone who is not confident in what they are doing or deviates significantly from what’s in the best interest of their loved one, this could be devastating for the impacted party.
This is a form of elder abuse. Guarding against elder abuse starts with having the right legal documents in place to ensure that a chosen, competent, and trustworthy person has been selected as a POA agent.
If you’re ready to create or update your California power of attorney, call us today for more