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Sometimes, the trust in a power of attorney is misplaced

In creating an estate plan, British Columbia residents often execute documents not meant to handle their affairs after death, but instead, to handle them if they become incapacitated. They appoint a power of attorney to act on their behalf when they cannot make decisions for themselves. The creator of the document believes the person chosen to take on this crucial responsibility is trustworthy and will fulfill their obligations to the incapacitated person.

Unfortunately, things do not always work out as intended. If your loved one's power of attorney failed him or her in some way, it may be possible to file a claim against that individual. For instance, he or she may misuse the assets of the incapacitated person or otherwise abuse the power given by your loved one. In some cases, the individual may take assets for his or her own personal gain and use, instead of making sure that your loved one was properly cared for.

Perhaps you suspected the power of attorney was not the best choice, or you noticed unusual activity that made you question how well he or she was taking care of your loved one. You do not have to wait until your loved one passes away to take steps to protect him or her. In fact, the sooner you identify the wrongdoing and address it, the better off your loved one may be.

The challenging part is determining whether the problems you see are intentional or mistakes. If the power of attorney simply does not know better, it may be possible to add another person or at least find the individual the help needed in order to properly fulfill the obligations to your loved one. However, it may also be necessary to initiate court action in order to protect your loved one. In that case, it would prove invaluable to discuss the matter with an experienced British Columbia lawyer.

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