POA abuse

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 19, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

three years ago I gave my sister POA so she could get $2,000 from my bank account to get my car out of impound, I ended up going away for the three years, but in the mean time my sister took all of my SSI monthly income,and my IRS check,and spent it on her self,I have the bank records of all the money my she spent on ,cloths gas,( three cars being filled at the same time),nail salons,drug stores,music,massages,etc etc ,,, help me


Expert Answers

Michael Gilfix is a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning by the State Bar of California. He was chosen as a Super Lawyer by his peers and has been a national leader in the fields of law, long-term care, tax, and asset protection for more than 35 years. He writes and lectures about these topics across the nation and is the primary author of Tax, Estate, and Financial Planning for the Elderly: Forms and Practice. He has successfully advised thousands of families about protective long-term care planning.

This is called "theft." You can take her to court in an effort to have the money returned. Rather then spending money you probably don't have to hire a lawyer for this, Small Claims Court may be your best approach. Small Claims Courts let you represent yourself and the rules are relaxed to make it easy for non-lawyers. Check the limits in your state -- it could be $5,000, $7,500 or a bit higher.
If your sister is insolvent, this may do you no good, as "you can't get water out of a stone."
You could also file a criminal complaint since she stole your money. She is your sister, so carefully think this through before you do it. Be sure you revoke the power of attorney. Do this in a simple writing and deliver it to any bank where you have an account. They must know that you and only you can access your money.