For many people who create a durable power of attorney inheritance planning is one of the key reasons why they name an agent. The agent, or the attorney in fact is given control over assets so the assets can be managed in the event that the owner becomes incapacitated. The agent’s job is to keep the property and money safe, to act in the best interests of the property owner, and to ensure that the assets are not lost or reduced in value.
Unfortunately, there are times when agents mismanage assets which are meant to be left for an inheritance. If you have trusted someone and you have named that person your agent, you need to ensure you do everything possible to put a stop to any abuse of your trust being perpetrated by your attorney-in-fact.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help. Give us a call today to find out about options for stopping an agent from abusing his authority and trying to recoup the money spent improperly by the person who you trusted.
Understanding a Durable Power of Attorney Inheritance
When you want to leave an inheritance for loved ones, you need to ensure assets you plan to gift to your heirs will be appropriately managed both throughout your life as well as after your death. To protect the assets during your lifetime, you can create a power of attorney. A power of attorney gives your agent, or attorney in fact, the authority to make decisions and to take active steps to manage investments and other property if something happens to you. It is an essential part of an incapacity plan.
When creating a power of attorney to give someone the authority to manage your assets in case of incapacity, you should opt to make the power of attorney durable. A durable power of attorney means it stays in effect once you become incapacitated- which is the time when you need it. If you didn’t make your power of attorney durable, this could lead to a problem because the grant of authority to your agent would end when you became incapacitated.
A durable power of attorney lets the agent step in when an illness or injury happens to make you incapacitated, but it can also end up giving the agent immediate authority, unless you make your grant of authority a springing power of attorney. Then it would go into effect only in cases of incapacity.
Whether you are actually incapacitated or not, there are some circumstances where an attorney in fact or agent will not fulfill his obligations to you and to your heirs to protect the inheritance and to act in your best interests in managing money. If an agent abuses authority, you can revoke that authority if you are still of sound mind. You can notify any institutions where the attorney-in-fact is managing your affairs and let them know that this agent no longer has the legal authority to act for you.
You can also sue the agent who was supposed to be acting in your best interests so you can try to recover the money which is being misspent or other assets which the agent is improperly taking or wasting. It is important to take legal action against an agent who has violated a fiduciary duty owed to act in the best interests of the person who created the power of attorney. This is essential so the agent can be held accountable and so the value of an inheritance is not lost.
Getting Help from a Durable Power of Attorney Inheritance Lawyer
If you want to create a durable power of attorney to protect the inheritance of your loved ones, you should be sure to get appropriate legal help so you can identify an agent you trust and take steps to make sure your agent will never abuse his authority. Those who believe an agent is abusing his or her power should also get help from a qualified durable power of attorney inheritance lawyer as soon as possible to protect the value of an estate heirs will inherit.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC understands the rules for durable powers of attorney and we can help you to protect an inheritance you wish to receive, as well as helping you to protect an inheritance you wish to leave for others. To learn more about creating a power of attorney and protecting an inheritance, join us for a free seminar or contact us to get personalized advice to address your specific legal issues.
You can give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online today so we can get started on helping you to ensure an attorney in fact is doing all he is expected to in order to keep an inheritance safe.
- Why Should I Include Probate Avoidance in My Estate Plan? - January 27, 2022
- How Can I Include Charitable Gifts in My Estate Plan? - January 25, 2022
- Do I Need an Incentive Trust? - January 20, 2022