Power of attorney abuse

Abuse of a power of attorney is an all too common phenomenon in Texas, and nationally. This article  in the Wall Street Journal highlights what I perceive as a growing area of concern. All too often "trusted" friends or family members use the power of attorney for their own benefit. At the recent Fiduciary Litigation seminar in Dallas, James Woo  spoke of the increase he is seeing in those with power of attorney facilitating the creation of a joint account of survivorship in either a bank or brokerage account.  This often occurs in the context of a child  excluding those assets from the estate the parent meant to pass on to all the children.  The parent believes the children are being treated equally because that is what he provided in his will.   But upon his death the other children learn that the probate estate is surprisingly small, and that their sibling with power of attorney gets all the bank and brokerage accounts. This scenario calls for aggressive action and the consultation of a litigation attorney.  The holder of a power of attorney owes a fiduciary duty to the principal.  He has the burden to prove the account designation changes were fair.  The other siblings can assert claims of undue influence, lack of capacity and tortious interference with inheritance rights. Collin and Grayson County Elder Abuse Attorneys

TXPLMichael Young