Two New Aba Factsheets

Article excerpt

"Helen was 85 and ailing when she made a [durable power of attorney] (DPA) naming her daughter Susan as her agent. Two weeks later Susan used this DPA to sell Helen's home. Susan placed the sale proceeds into bank accounts that were in Helen's name. Within a year Susan had used her authority under Helen's DPA to withdraw all the money from Helen's accounts. Susan used the money to support her lavish lifestyle and her failing business.

"When Helen discovered her money was gone, she contacted the local law enforcement agency and was told by a detective that her only option was the civil justice system. Helen could not afford a civil lawyer and tiie local free legal services program for older people was not able to help her. The adult protective services agency told Helen that they couldn't help her recover her money. Helen lost all hope and dies six weeks later."

This case study is included in two new fact sheets about the use and potential abuse of durable powers of attorney recently published online by the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging. …