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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53706
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My cousin had a stroke and while in the hospital they found

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My cousin had a stroke and while in the hospital they found cancer she refused surgery and treatment. She is now in a home. I live in Florida and she chose a friend to be her POA. I am her beneficiary to everything and the POA has been doing things I do not understand. Where she worked before all this happened called me and ask if I knew the POA had stopped her direct deposit of her payroll check and changed it to another account. My cousin knew nothing about this and as of today 6/12/13 still has not been told by the POA where the account is and is it still in her name. She ask me to call and ask why she did not know about this matter. My cousin is still very capable of talking and deciding things. She is paralyzed on her right side but did not affect her mind or speech. The POA will not talk to me or send any documents to me. I ask her to please send the bank statements so I could see where the money is going because the home charges $4,700.00 a month less her SS check. I want my cousin to be able to stay in the home. I know they can take her house and other personal property and that is okay I just need to know how I can legally receive a copy of the POA and her living will and is there any way I can see what is being paid from her accounts. My cousin has an attorney. He told me this could only happen if the POA out of the goodness of her heart would let me. Please I need answers. Thank you
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Since your cousin is mentally competent, she can revoke the POA she has issue to her friend by sending a letter of revocation to her (and to anyone else to whom your cousin knows the POA was provided). That letter will be effective to immediately terminate the friend's authority under the POA. Your cousin can then sign a new Durable POA naming you to act on her behalf which will then give you the authority to act on your cousin's behalf. Included within that authority is the right to file suit against the friend for breach of fiduciary duty under the prior POA. A person acting under a Durable Power of Attorney becomes the agent of the principal who appointed him or her. As agent, that person is what the law calls a “fiduciary.” This means that person has a duty to act in the highest good faith for the principal’s benefit. Unless the Power of Attorney specifically allows it, that person cannot use any of the property for that person's own benefit, directly or indirectly.

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