Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Friday, 02.23.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
 10  11  12  13  14  15  16
 17  18  19  20  21  22  23
 24  25  26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Dec 29,2006
Power of Attorney: Potential Tool for Fraud
by Professor Michael Myers

A power of attorney is a valuable estate planning tool; however, it has the potential for perpetrating fraud.  It can be used to deplete an estate.

That is what happened in a case brought to the USD Senior Legal Helpline by a 69-year-old woman who was named in an aunt’s will to receive a parcel of farmland.  When the aunt died six months ago at age 82, the caller learned that the land had been sold to a nephew for half its fair market value through a power of attorney prepared by an attorney who should have exercised greater oversight.

The nephew lives in a coastal state and was not mentioned in the aunt’s will. Last summer he traveled to the upper plains community where the aunt and her sister, also in her 80s, resided.  The sister was named in the will as the personal representative.  The aunt, in failing health, also had her sister’s name placed on a joint checking account.

The nephew persuaded the aunt’s sister to withdraw money from the account and “loan” it to him for the purpose of purchasing the farmland intended for the helpline caller.  He and the sister then had a lawyer draft an all-inclusive power of attorney that specifically gave the sister, as agent, power to sell the farmland to a family member.

He and the sister then took the power of attorney to the aunt, who was terminally ill in a nursing home and barely able to make a mark on the power of attorney signature line.  Nursing home employees witnessed the “signing.” The sister then used the power of attorney to convey the land to the nephew, again, at half its market value with money taken from the aunt’s checking account.

The attorney for the aunt’s estate discovered the fraud.  She filed an action against the nephew and sister, who have agreed to return the money and land to the estate.  The states attorney for the county where the will is being probated has so far declined to file criminal charges. The sister has been replaced as personal representative.

This is a case of estate planning gone awry.  The aunt executed a will drafted by legal counsel.  She designated who should receive her property upon her death.  She planned her funeral.  She acted responsibly and with foresight

But she could not plan for a nephew with fraudulent intent.  Lawyers who draft powers of attorney have a duty to make certain the person who is giving away legal powers has independent representation.             

(Pro bono legal information and advice is available to persons 55 and older through the USD Senior Legal Helpline at 1-800-747-1895)

1811 times read

Related news
THE ELDERLAW FORUM - Power of Attorney Dies with Its Maker by Professor Michael Myers posted on Nov 10,2006

The Elderlaw Forum: a kitchen table, shotgun, and $30000 by Professor_Michael_Myers posted on Jan 26,2007

The Elderlaw Forum: Am I liable for Dad’s nursing home bill? by Professor_Michael_Myers posted on Jul 20,2007

Ask the Real Estate Lawyer by Ilyce_Glink posted on Jun 29,2006

‘Never Thought It Would Happen to Us’ by Professor Michael Myers posted on Dec 08,2006

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 11 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?