Monday, October 1, 2012

How Easy Someone Can Steal With Power of Attorney

Several recent cases of false imprisonment and theft demonstrate how callously people can take financial advantage of others. 

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This week, authorities found that a St. Louis man named Cliff Crockwell allegedly locked a man in his basement for five years while he cashed the man’s Social Security checks.  The victim suffered a traumatic brain injury and developed alcoholism while recovering, which led him to meet Crockwell, who provided care for alcoholics.  Eventually, the victim’s sister visited him and noticed that the building where he lived had bars on the windows, a steel front door, and backwards locks that prevent people from leaving the building.  She claimed her brother looked like a Holocaust survivor and that the building was a dungeon.   Crockwell claims that he prevented the victim’s departure because he believed he would drink alcohol if he left.  Further, Crockwell stated he permitted the victim to leave initially, but that he would return to the building inebriated.  He admitted that he had no medical evidence to support his claim that the victim must be confined in order to maintain his sobriety. 
The victim has not received any of his Social Security benefits for the last five years.  Crockwell admitted that he got him to sign over his Social Security checks, but did not confirm whether he had power of attorney to act on the victim’s behalf.  Crockwell also admitted that he received Social Security benefits on behalf of other tenants as well.  A Missouri state Senator stated that Crockwell’s actions could be considered false imprisonment. 
Another egregious case of false imprisonment was uncovered in Pennsylvania earlier in September.  Dwayne Young was arrested on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, and forgery for allegedly keeping a deaf mute man in his basement for four months while cashing the disabled man’s Social Security checks.  The case resembled another tragic kidnapping that happened in Philadelphia where a convicted killer and three others were found to have locked four mentally handicapped adults in their basement and cashed their Social Security checks.  Horrifyingly, the victims in this case were chained to the boiler and forced to use a bucket as a latrine.  Police found power of attorney forms in the boiler room among other documents related to the victims.
The perpetrators in each case were being paid the victim’s Social Security checks.  The Social Security Administration states that after a careful investigation, it will appoint someone to be a payee of another’s benefits if the beneficiary is not capable of managing her money by herself.  Executing a power of attorney agreement cannot authorize an agent to accept your Social Security benefits on your behalf.  This suggests the SSA believes its vetting process is stricter than an individual’s.  It’s true that you can grant a power of attorney while the principal is not mentally incapacitated, whereas the SSA requires the beneficiary to be mentally incapable of managing his affairs, but these recent cases suggest the SSA could greatly improve its processes for selecting payees and ensuring payees are not taking advantage of the disabled.    

Monday, September 24, 2012

Power of Attorney Basics

Prolonging power of attorney (POA) rights is common practice in personal finance, business and estate planning. This type of document allows an individual to transact or make medical decisions on your behalf. Before granting POA rights it is important to think about it carefully. The authorized individual is called an attorney-in-fact or an agent. They are allowed to handle and decides on various tasks on your behalf.
Picking the Right Attorney-in-fact Agents can be anyone that you can trust. That person should be at least 18 years of age and is capable of making important decisions or carry out significant tasks. It is important to choose someone that can meet requirements and is honest and ethical. If the agents are assigned for medical power of attorney they must be someone which you can depend on to convey your medical decisions to doctors and do whatever is needed to make sure your directions are followed.
It is best if you give careful consideration in selecting an agent. The responsibilities can put the agents in a hard position particularly those representing you as health care agents. People must be someone that you can depend on to decide on medical choices no matter what others think.

Types of Power of Attorney Forms
There are several forms of power of attorney, these include: General, Limited, Durable, and Special.

The Durable POA (Download at is one of the most frequently utilized forms. This will provide the agents the right to act as the Principal’s representative for personal, legal matters and business. Rights are effective until the principal revokes the POA or dies.

The General POA (Download at  allows agents to take part in several transactions. This might be employed to allow agents to take care of personal finances, sale of real estate, investment matters, motor vehicles or presume management responsibilities in the Principal’s transaction.
Special or Limited power of attorney gives limited privileges and only lets agents to engage in particular tasks. The type of POA can be utilized for many types of dealings which includes selling or buying realty or handling personal finances. As soon as the agents carry out the needed tasks their rights are revoked automatically.

The Medical Power of Attorney is one of the important factors of estate planning. This type of POA allows agents to carry out health care decisions on the behalf of the principal. The agents don’t get involved with decision making until the principal’s health care professional files a statement of incompetency.
There are some treatments and procedures which agents are not allowed from being involved with. It includes making decisions regarding abortion or having the principal brought in a mental institution.

The Springing Power of Attorney is employed in instances which include injury or illness. This form enables health care experts to provide medical records to the assigned agent. If a springing POA is used agents need to get court authorization about any decisions created on the Principal’s behalf.

Finally, Medical POA (Download at is utilized to allow caregivers to have emergency medical care for children. This is needed in daycare centers, however should also be recognized for home day care providers and nannies.
It is advisable to obtain legal counsel to make certain the correct type of power of attorney is set up. Attorneys can provide directives about choosing agents and establish legal documents for a nominal fee.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Purpose of a Power of Attorney Form

A Durable Power of Attorney is one document that everyone should consider. This simple document is very essential if injury or sickness strikes and you are not capable of managing your own affairs.

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If you want someone else to act legally on your behalf the Power of Attorney (POA) is what you need. You will be referred to as the Principal and the one who will act on your behalf is known as Attorney-in-fact or agent. The Power of Attorney could be limited to a particular action which the Agent is allowed to carry out on your behalf. This document may give the Agent broad powers. It is important that you appoint someone that you really trust. It is either a family member, a trusted friend, an advisor, a bank or an institution with the same nature.

The Significance of Power of Attorney
The importance of Durable Power of Attorney is best comprehended if you are aware what would happen with the basic type of Power of Attorney. Once you affix your signature in the non- durable POA this will be used only during the time you are still alive and capable to manage your own transactions. In case you become incapable or die, the POA is revoked automatically by-law and your attorney-in-fact will no longer be able to carry out on your behalf. This makes the Power of Attorney from being binding, unintentionally, and until a particular time, it was the only time that a Power of Attorney could be arranged.

The non-durable Power of Attorney is less important for estate planning and family purposes, but because of the Power of Attorney, it is required most of the time if you become disabled. That is the only time you really need another person that is capable of managing legal decisions for you.

Sample case
This is a case of a father that grant powers to his daughter. The condition of the father worsened, so the daughter decided to transfer her father’s home to her name. Later her father died, the Will revealed that his beneficiaries are his 3 children. But, since the house has been already under the name of his daughter what is left to the other children is very little. They feel their sister is being unfair so they sue their sister claiming that their sister did not use the power of attorney properly. But the judge sees no irregularity was committed and thus approved their sister’s action. Again, not enough consideration was given to the right authority being granted. In this case, this situation could have been prevented if the durable power of attorney added a provision requiring that all the gifts to children should be divided equally.

Cancelling a Power of Attorney
As long as you are capable, you have the power to cancel your Durable Power of Attorney. To cancel it, simply send a written notice to your agent informing him that the document has been cancelled. As soon as the agent receives the notice of your revocation, the agent has no power to act under the Durable Power of Attorney. But, your cancellation will not undo any actions taken before being notified that the Power of Attorney has been cancelled.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How to Choose a Health Care Agent?

No one likes to think about his or her death.  Similarly, most do not wish to consider related issues like whether to end life support or how they would want to proceed if they developed dementia or became incapacitated.  Despite the unpleasant nature of this task, advanced planning for how to manage these medical issues is critical because incapacitating conditions are not rare.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one out of every eight adults over 65 has Alzheimer’s, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.  Further, a substantial number of seniors experience strokes, and life changing accidents are always a possibility.  You want to ensure that when you are at your most vulnerable, someone will be able to direct your health care in a manner that complies with your genuine wishes and preserves your dignity.  Absent a trusted health care agent to act on your behalf, health care providers could make decisions that drastically alter your quality of life for you.  Thus, to carry out your desired course of treatment, you should carefully reflect on how you want to manage these issues so you can make an informed decision and select an effective health care agent.
There are several factors to help you choose whom to name as your health care agent.  The first question you should ask is: do I trust this person with the quality of my life?  This is such an important consideration because your health care agent must be perfectly trustworthy if you want her to advance your wishes.  Next, the agent must be able to act on your behalf when faced with opinions from family and health care providers that contradict your wishes – is the potential agent dependable and can she advocate for your needs effectively?  Will she not allow emotional duress to sway her from pursuing your health care objectives?
Further, you want to select an agent with whom you can discuss your health care needs openly so she will understand and implement your goals more precisely.  This process requires reflection on difficult topics, including what you believe is a good quality of life, what activities you would need the ability to do to experience this quality of life, whether you want every medical option exercised in order to keep you alive, and how you would want to spend your last days.  You would not want to select an agent who stubbornly argues with your views, but a good one would help you determine your wishes by exploring them with you.  To make informed decisions that balance your health needs and quality of life, the agent also must have the capability to discuss your health with physicians.  He would need to ask your doctors about your prognosis -- whether you will recover fully, what your quality of life will be, and what your chances for improvement are.  The agent must also discuss the treatment options with your doctors, the options’ probability of success, and whether they will cause suffering.     Download POA forms at    

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Power of Attorney Revocation Form - FREE

Do you know how to cancel a Power of Attorney Form? You can either fill-out a new power of attorney, fill-out a power of attorney revocation form, get rid of all the power of attorney documents you made or you can... die.

So we suggest filling out a very simple and FREE Power of Attorney Revocation Form. It is easy too, all you have to do is print it out or create "fields"or you're own fill-in-the-blank boxes in Adobe PDF so you don't have to fill it in after you print it out.

Do I need a Witness or Notary?
It depends on the state that you are in, but it would definitely help you in the court of law if you had a notary sign the document.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Power of Attorney Form Download

With all the subscription legal form websites out coming out of the woodwork, it is not as easy anymore to get a power of attorney form download that is simple. So, we decided to put up here the four most popular power of attorney forms that can be easily downloaded.

Durable Power of Attorney Form Download - Easily download a Durable Power of Attorney Form at this link. It comes in an easy fill-in-the-blanks format that you can fill-out in minutes.

Medical Power of Attorney Form Download - Easily download a Medical Power of Attorney Form at this link. It comes in an easy fill-in-the-blanks format that you can fill-out in minutes.

General Power of Attorney Form Download - Easily download a General Power of Attorney Form at this link. It comes in an easy fill-in-the-blanks format that you can fill-out in minutes.

Limited Power of Attorney Form Download - Easily download a Limited Power of Attorney Form at this link. It comes in an easy fill-in-the-blanks format that you can fill-out in minutes.

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