Power of Attorney Disputes
A power of attorney is an important document for determining medical, property and financial decisions in the event of serious illness or disability. Unfortunately, power of attorney disputes are common and may require legal assistance to resolve. At Lucé Evans Law, our McKinney-based attorneys can find a resolution to an estate dispute through negotiation and probate litigation when necessary.
What Is Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney is a document that authorizes an individual, called an agent or attorney-in-fact, to represent another individual, called the principal, in specific areas often related to health and financial decisions. Frequently, this process involves an older parent appointing one of their children as the agent, potentially causing disputes within the family.
What Is a Power of Attorney Dispute?
If siblings or other family members are unhappy with the power of attorney appointment or feel the agent is not meeting their responsibilities, they can challenge the validity of the document. This is a power of attorney dispute. A power of attorney comes with specific obligations detailed in the document, and failure to abide by the terms can invalidate the appointment.
Factors That Affect Power of Attorney Disputes
At Lucé Evans Law, our attorneys are experienced at handling power of attorney disputes. We take the time to understand the wishes of the principal, the powers laid out in the document and the claims of power of attorney misuse. We always aim to find an amicable resolution that avoids bitter disputes, but it may be necessary to proceed to litigation in some cases.
Some factors we consider in a dispute include whether the principal was in sound mind when they signed the document, whether a notary public was present during the signing, if money or assets have been transferred from the principal to the agent – and if the agent is exceeding their authority.
If you are concerned about the management of an estate, Lucé Evans Law can offer advice and assist with all estate disputes, including beneficiary designation disputes, real estate inheritance disputes and estate accounting.
Common Questions About Power of Attorney Disputes
No. A principal may choose to appoint anyone they would like to have power of attorney. This can include a friend or even a professional organization. However, the process usually involves an aging parent appointing a child to represent them.
Our attorneys will challenge the agent in court. If the court finds the agent is involved in financial abuse, medical abuse, fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, they will revoke the power of attorney.
Unless the power of attorney is revoked by the court, it will end after the principal dies.