A recent case in NSW highlighted that there are serious ramifications if a person appointed under a Power of Attorney (POA) abuses their power and does not act in the best interest of the appointor.
In this particular case, a father made his son a Power of Attorney and the son abused that power and spent the majority of the man’s savings on himself ($157,000). The son has now been sentenced to two year imprisonment and must serve at least 12 months in jail.
This case not only highlights that it is important to appoint the right people but it also serves as a warning to any person who believes it is ok to take advantage of a position of trust.
We make it clear to those being made a Power of Attorney of what their role is and the consequences if they do not conduct themselves in an open and honest way.
We are able to provide ongoing advice to those appointed under a Power of Attorney to ensure that they fill their obligations under the Powers of Attorney Act NSW 2003.
If my Power of Attorney is currently abusing their power, what can I do?
If the Appointer still has capacity, they can contact us and we can assist them by revoking the existing Power of Attorney and appointing a new one (if required).
If the Appointor does not have capacity then the matter can be referred to the Guardianship Division of NCAT. The Power of Attorney can be made to pay back any monies wrongly taken.