One of the more prominent aspects of elder law is planning for end-of-life care. Assigning power of attorney is a critical element in all of this, and as such, is a decision that people in Gainesville cannot take lightly. 

The assumption is that one would only assign power of attorney to a person that they trusted completely. Because of this, little oversight actually exists regarding the actions of one exercising power of attorney. This opens up the door for abuse and exploitation that can leave the ward at the center of it all on the hook for serious financial costs. 

Woman uses power of attorney to steal more than $1 million 

That is exactly what an elderly Florida man is facing after the woman he entrusted with power of attorney stole more than $1 million from him. While reports did not detail the nature of the relationship the couple shared, the woman assumed power of attorney over the man’s affairs in 2016. Almost immediately she began using his credit cards to make over $10,000 in purchases. She subsequently took almost $700,000 from his banking and investment accounts (much of which she used to buy herself a dairy farm). The man now faces more than $60,000 in tax liabilities (in addition to having two of his properties in foreclosure) due to her actions. 

Assigning power of attorney wisely 

This case demonstrates the need for people to put a great deal of thought into whether they should entrust someone with power of attorney (and if so, who to grant the privilege to). An experienced attorney may be a great resource of information and advice when making this important decision.