As an Atlanta Fiduciary Dispute Lawyer, I often come across persons who believe that once someone signs a Georgia Power of Attorney, then it’s over and all control has been surrendered to the person designated. It’s not that simple.
In Georgia, Power of Attorney Abuse is common and a terrible problem. Oftentimes, family members, hired help, and other persons take advantage of elderly or disabled persons through a Abuse or Misuse of a Power of Attorney. The Georgia Supreme Court the Abuse of a Power of Attorney in Greenway vs. Hamilton
As an Atlanta Power of Attorney Abuse Lawyer, I have seen many different schemes to use a Power of Attorney in an unlawful manner. A common theme is the “conversion”, or misappropriation assets using a Power of Attorney, before these assets become part of an estate. This is because assets of an estate are usually much more heavily guarded by the heirs and beneficiaries.
If you believe a Power of Attorney is being abused, there are several options you can take. First, you should seek out a qualified Atlanta, Georgia Fiduciary Lawyer to assist you in your undertakings. Some options your attorney can assist you with are as follows:
• Filing a complaint with adult protective services
• Confront the person abusing or misusing the power of attorney
• Talk to other family members about the situation
• Retain an experienced Fiduciary Law Lawyer
TAKE ACTION: THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR SEEKING LEGAL ADVICE AS SOON AS YOU KNOW ABOUT, OR SUSPECT, ABUSE OF AN ELDERLY OR DISABLED PERSON THROUGH THE ABUSE OR MISUSE OF A POWER OF ATTORNEY
First, a Power of Attorney is only valid if it is executed in compliance with Georgia law.
It must be in writing and properly dated. The party who holds the Power of Attorney has a Fiduciary Duty.
The person signing the document must be legally competent at the time of signing. When the person signing the document has dementia or Alzheimer’s or similar conditions, medical records and opinions from doctors and experienced elder law attorneys can be ways to establish competence.
Second, even with a valid Power of Attorney there is a Fiduciary Duty in Georgia to act in the best interests of the principal who signed over their POA. Thus all decisions must be based on what is best for them, not what is most convenient for the designee (aka Agent or Attorney-in-Fact).
For financial decisions, the legal duty requires the designee to, at the very least, refrain from self-dealing. The designee has a Fiduciary Duty to manage assets prudently with the goal of helping the principal who owns the assets. When the principal has significant assets, following the advice of a credentialed, knowledgeable, and ethical financial planner may be essential. It is also helpful to have an Atlanta, Georgia elder law attorney knowledgeable about spotting unsuitable investments review financial plans, recommendations, and decisions.
If you have concerns regarding a the abuse of A Power of Attorney, contact our Buckhead law office in Atlanta to schedule a consultation with one of The Libby Law Firm experienced Fiduciary law attorneys. The longer you wait, the greater the damage usually is, so acting fast and boldly is necessary.
Contact our Atlanta Fiduciary Lawyers at our Main Office set up a meeting today. You can contact our Main Office by calling our (404) 467-8611. The Libby Law Firm Main Office can be found conveniently located in Buckhead Section of Atlanta. You can also use our confidential Contact Us Form.