Chicago Elder Law Lawyers for Misuse of Power of Attorney
Representing Victims of Financial Exploitation in Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, and Cook County
The Power of Attorney (POA) role holds great influence. When this role is abused, it can cause great tragedy. A POA is a legally binding relationship created between an Agent and a Principal. The Principal, or person who designates the Agent, must carefully choose a person who will act in their best interest on all relevant matters. The Power of Attorney can grant broad powers to the agent, including the ability to make financial, medical, and even legal decisions on behalf of the Principal.
The Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo is a leading elder law litigation firm with extensive experience in probate, probate litigation, caregiver financial abuse, asset recovery, and contested wills and trusts. Matters involving numerous assets and investigating fraud and financial abuse have become a cornerstone of our thriving practice. Our clients have faith that we will do everything possible to restore lost property and prevent further financial abuse. When power falls into the wrong hands, we work diligently to set things right again.
Understanding POAs and Detecting Financial Abuse
In general, a Power of Attorney agreement may be rescinded by the Principal. Such agreements also terminate when the Principal dies. The exception is a Durable POA, which can remain in force regardless of the state of the Principal. Depending on the structure of the POA, the Agent may have access to the Principals assets and property and may act on their behalf. Unfortunately, an unscrupulous individual may use that power to misappropriate assets, mismanage funds and use the estate to their own benefit. Some common signs of abuse include, but are not limited to:
- Lack of communication with the principal or principals family on the part of the Agent;
- Sudden, unexplained transfers of funds or property;
- Difficulty getting information regarding financial transactions from the Agent; and
- Lack of financial resources to maintain the Principals quality of life or medical care.
One of the best ways to avoid these scenarios is to choose a person you trust wholeheartedly. Be careful of giving caregivers, distant relatives, or a mere acquaintance power over your finances and health directives. In addition, set up a trusted network that will monitor the actions of the selected Agent. If you or a loved one feels forced to grant Power of Attorney to an individual, it is important to seek assistance. An experienced POA abuse lawyer can help.
Work With an Elder Financial Abuse Lawyer
If you need help with Power of Attorney fraud or abuse, please contact our attorneys today to set up an initial appointment. We serve the Chicago area, including Elgin, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Carpentersville, South Elgin, Lake In the Hills, Crystal Lake, Geneva, St. Charles, Kane County, Cook County, and the surrounding counties. Please call 847-628-8311. We are ready to help you and your loved ones through this challenging time.