Sometimes, our situation prevents us from being physically close to our parents. Whether it is because we reside in another state or our jobs are not very flexible, it can be challenging to be hands-on in our parents’ care. Fortunately, estate planning tools such as powers of attorney (POA) give us peace of mind that our elderly loved ones receive their daily needs and maintenance. Sadly, some people take advantage of the elderly’s vulnerability and use their power under the POA for their personal benefit.
Abuse signs to look out for
Abuse of power can take many forms. Here are some of the telltale signs that your loved one’s POA agent is abusing their power:
- The principal is in bad condition and shows signs of neglect
- Unpaid bills and other costs, especially medical ones
- Canceled services or changes in services of lower quality despite available funds for better options
- Unauthorized disposal of the principal’s assets
- Isolation of the principal from family and friends
- The agent’s sudden acquisition of properties they normally would not get
- The agent’s refusal to disclose information related to the POA’s finances and management
Some signs are evident, but others may need a little more investigation. If you have doubts about the situation, you can check if there is a significant change in the principal’s finances that poses a risk to their care and assets.
What you can do about the situation
Whether you already have sufficient proof of the abuse or are still currently dealing with suspicions of the same, it would be best to discuss your situation with a legal professional who can help you gather evidence to take legal action against the abuser. Timely action is necessary to prevent further damage to your loved one.