Use a legal guardianship to trump a power of attorney


If you suspect that a family member is abusing a power of attorney given by a now-incompetent parent, petition the court to appoint a legal guardian. The guardianship automatically revokes any powers of attorney and the guardian can then review past financial dealings.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Linda, you've got a cousin and that cousin has a friend, has been taking care of him, and using your cousin's power of attorney to manage his affairs, but all of a sudden things don't look exactly they're likely square with your cousin?

Linda: Correct.

Attorney Tom Olsen: So, Linda if you have a concern about that, then your remedy would be a legal guardianship where you would petition the court to appoint a guardian for your cousin. The judge would appoint a panel of three people to go out there and interview your cousin, and see if he's competent to handle his affairs. If he's not, then the court would appoint a legal guardian for your cousin. You would be the the most likely choice since you're related to him.

If you get that legal guardianship, that will automatically revoke that power of attorney that's out there. That would get you access to all of your cousin's bank account so you can see what's been going on for the last few years, and it would get you access to your cousin's will, and possibly have a court declaration that he was not competent when he did that will, if he's turned out to leave it all to his friend.

Linda: Okay, sounds good. I figured there had to be something I could do legally to find out what's going on.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Linda, maybe the only thing you can do is to start a legal guardianship. You would talk to an attorney about starting that process. Linda, if you're looking for a recommendation here in Orlando, you can email me, and I'll refer you to a guardianship attorney.

Hey, folks, the easiest way to email me is through our website, and that is Like YouTube, but