Stachler Harmon Attorneys at Law
Challenging a Power of Attorney After Abuse of Authority
When a person is assigned as a power of attorney (POA), they have a huge amount of authority when it comes to the principal's estate. POAs have the power to make business and medical decisions if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. For many people, assigning a POA in their will is a comforting decision, since they will trust this person deeply. They will have confidence that this person will make decisions in their interests when it comes to health care choices and financial affairs.
However, there are times when a POA abuses their power or mismanages their responsibilities. This could be during a time in which the principal is mentally incapacitated, or when the principal has passed away. The principal's loved ones are likely to be concerned about this misuse of power, and, in many cases, they will be able to go through the legal process of challenging the power of attorney. The following are some ways in which this can be done.
The Principal Does Not Have the Competence to Revoke the POA
In most situations, only the principal can revoke a POA, since they are the person who initiated it. However, if the principal is mentally incapacitated, they will not be able to do so. As a loved one, you may be able to step in to argue that the principal would revoke the POA if they had the mental clarity in which to recognize the abuse and make that decision.
The POA Has Abused Their Authority
Although the POA has a significant amount of authority when it comes to decisions being made about an estate, this does not mean that they can act with disregard to the interests of the principal. If you believe that the POA has been stealing or mismanaging assets, you can take action to challenge their right to have authority over the estate. Similarly, if you believe that the POA has been making poor medical decisions on behalf of the principal or if you believe that they have been going against the principal's pre-defined wishes, you could make a legal challenge.
Your loved one's best interests must not be undermined by their POA. By taking legal action in Ohio, you will be able to challenge the POA and get justice.