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Irresponsibility or abuse by power of attorney

When a loved one takes the time to plan his or her estate, it can be a great comfort to family members. A well-crafted estate plan can leave little confusion at a time when emotions may be high. If your loved one created an estate plan that included a power of attorney designation, you may have assumed the chosen agent would act in the best interests of your loved one. However, like many in British Columbia and elsewhere, you may be uncertain that your loved one's goals are being met.

It is not unusual for a designated power of attorney to abuse his or her position. Having control over the finances and assets of someone who has become incapacitated may be too much of a temptation for some who may use the opportunity to make decisions outside the scope of the instructions within the documents. Such abuse of power may not be easy to recognize, especially if you are distracted by the illness or your loved one. However, in time you may have questions about the decisions your loved one's agent made.

On the other hand, while not intentionally abusing the authority, your loved one's agent may simply mishandle the finances or affairs entrusted to him or her. Even if it is an oversight or mistake, such errors can seriously affect the value of your loved one's estate and, consequently, your inheritance. You have a right to hold accountable any agent with fiduciary obligations over your loved one's property.

If you suspect wrongdoing or mismanagement on the part of a designated power of attorney, you may wonder about your best course of action. At Darychuck Law in British Columbia, we can provide a complete evaluation of your situation. We can assist you in gathering the information you need and supporting your claims related to the abuse or misconduct of a loved one's power of attorney.

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