Due to the more vulnerable state of senior citizens, these individuals are often targeted for financial scams and money fraud. While it is easy to assume that the majority of this fraud is accomplished by telemarketers and sleazy salesmen, sometimes those closest to the elderly are to blame.
Power of attorney can be an invaluable tool when used correctly, but in the wrong hands, it can lead to deception and financial ruin. Whether you're caring for your elderly loved one or are getting on in years yourself, it is important to be aware of the dangers of a power of attorney and what you can do to minimize the risk.
Understanding the Risks of a Power of Attorney
The natural effects of aging often make it difficult for senior citizens to successfully manage their finances, causing many to turn to a power of attorney solution. Power of attorney gives an individual legal authority to act for another person, often in the case of money and finances. This role requires a great deal of trust and can be assigned to a loved one or another wise individual.
Unfortunately, the level of trust associated with power of attorney can make it easy for the appointee to scam the elderly person, usually by stealing their money and assets. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse because of a power of attorney scam, it is wise to hire your own attorney right away who can pursue legal action and work to retrieve your stolen assets.
In many cases, the court will require the defendant to return the stolen property and may even award punitive damages to the victim. The best way to prevent a power of attorney scam is to know what to look for and how to protect yourself.
Before granting a power of attorney, consider the following:
- Only work with someone you know well and implicitly trust
- Don't hesitate to revoke the power of attorney if you feel it is unnecessary
- Only release the power of attorney when you actually need it
At The Virdone Law Firm, P.C., it is our goal to protect elderly citizens from unfortunate scams and financial demise. We would be honored to assist you when choosing a power of attorney and can take legal action if necessary. Contact a Nassau County elder lawyer today!