What can he do if the person who has his money and the power of attorney does not give it to him when he asks for it? 25 Answers as of September 19, 2012

My friend receives social security and VA benefits. He was deemed incapable of handling his own funds. His sister has power of attorney over him.

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Martinson & Beason, PC
Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
The VA sets up a budget to conserve and wisely spend his benefits. Your friend can call the VA and let them know he needs more money.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/19/2012
The Law Office of Eric J Smith
The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
This may constitute elder abuse and/or fraud. In Texas, you would contact the Department of Aging and Disability services and possibly local law enforcement. That said, if your friend lacks capacity to handle his own affairs, he does not have much legal use for money, and giving money to someone in that circumstance would not be in his best interest.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/14/2012
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
The person should revoke the power of attorney. ail.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/14/2012
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
Did your friend give his sister his power of attorney? How was he deemed incapable of handling his own affairs? Your friend may be able to revoke the previous power of attorney and appoint a new agent. If you believe there is financial abuse occurring, have you on behalf of your friend contacted Adult Protective Services? You friend may require a conservatorship, if he is unable to handle his own financial affairs due to any incapacity.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/14/2012
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
Unless the person is not being properly cared for and has not been adjudicated incompetant, then nothing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/14/2012
    Richard E. Damon, PC | Richard E. Damon
    Then the sister controls his finances legally.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    What you describe sounds more like a Guardianship/Conservatorship than Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is granted by the Principal (your friend). A Guardianship/Conservatorship is imposed upon him if he is found to be incapable of handling his own funds. It is possible that his sister has been designated, by S.S. and V.A., as payee of the funds owed to your friend. In such cases, the payee is given the discretion, by Social Security and by the V.A., to decide what funds to release to the person on whose behalf the funds are paid.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Marc J. Soss, Esq.
    Marc J. Soss, Esq. | Marc J. Soss
    He can terminate the Power of Attorney, it requires written notice to the holder (sent via certified mail), and appoint a new power hold.er . With the VA, he can designate a new individual to receive the funds on his behalf. There is no notice requirement.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, if your friend is competent, even for a moment (a "lucid interval"), he may be able to revoke the power of attorney and end the agency relationship with his sister. For matters with the Social Security Admin. and Dept. of VA, your friend should contact those agencies to remove the sister/attorney-in-fact as his agent with those government agencies. If the sister has your friend's money when she no longer has authority to possess it, then she may be criminally responsible, and you may need to contact the police.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    He would have to revoke the poser of attorney in writing and demand the release of the funds. If that did not work he would have to go to court.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    You are describing two different matters. First the power of attorney, if the agent does not believe he should receive money for his own good, that is her discretion. He can go to court and seek a court order to remove the agent and name another person. Second, if he has been "deemed incapable" you are describing a legal conservatorship. Again, he would have to go to court to get an order releasing the funds.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    Your friend might be able to revoke his power of attorney. If his sister is mishandling his funds, then he could contact the local department of social services or (if he is over 65) department on aging.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Sue the holder of the power of attorney for an accounting and determination of the provisions of the power of attorney re the authority of the holder of the power; maybe you are not entitled to the money at this time if the power of attorney has restrictions re disbursement of funds imposed on the person holding the power.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    A conservator is appointed by the court to care for someone who has shown that he or she can no longer make reasonable financial decision. The conservatorship lasts until the court terminates it. The conservator has no obligation to provide funds just because the conservatee requests money. He or she is legally obligated to make sure that the conservatee's money is used properly to cover the cost of housing, utilities, food, health care, clothing, transportation, and personal needs. The conservator can be replaced by another person if it can be shown that the conservator is not doing a reasonable job managing the funds and that the conservatee is suffering because of that failure. The court occasionally terminates the convervatorship if the conservatee can show that he or she has recovered enough to handle his or her financial affairs again.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
    Send a letter demanding it, fire the sister and appoint a new power of attorney agent, or hire an attorney to assist you. She should not be doing this unless she feels she is protecting him possibly?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    He would have to file a request with the court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It sounds like she is the representative payee. Is she appropriately spending his money? That is the real issue. If not he should speak with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    Unless there is a conservatorship, your friend can sign different documents and same someone else to receive his funds. You could also begin a conservatorship and then the conservator could then become the payee on behalf of your friend.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    cannot use the money for herself. If she is, you must file a petition to have her removed. Barry Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    The DeRose Lawfirm | Peter J. DeRose
    Every power of attorney form I have ever seen contains a clause allowing the document to be revoked at any time by written notice. Additionally, the power of attorney only allows the agent to perform lawful acts. Fraud and theft are not lawful acts. Likewise, not distributing funds upon request violates the duties of the agent. The agent owes a fiduciary duty, which is the highest duty imposed upon an agent. They must treat the property entrusted to them as if it was their property. You can sue, but money gone is usually money lost. Revoke the power, if your friend has the mental capacity to do so (that is another issue) and start a court supervised conservatorship as soon as possible. Consult with an experienced lawyer soon.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    If he still has capacity to do so, he can revoke the prior Power of Attorney and name someone else. If he does not have capacity, then he would need to petition the probate court to appoint a conservator, (and probably a guardian, as well).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Neil J. Lehto, Esq.
    Neil J. Lehto, Esq. | Neil J. Lehto
    Your question is difficult to answer without knowing (1) who deemed him incapable of handling his own affairs, i.e., a physician or someone else, and (2) the wording of the power of attorney. Without that information, I would recommend that your friend immediately deliver a written notice specifically revoking the power of attorney and so notify the bank where Social Security and the Veterans Administration payments are deposited and where his money is deposited.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/14/2012
    Horn & Johnsen SC
    Horn & Johnsen SC | Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy
    If an agent under a power of attorney is not acting in his best interest, a guardianship proceeding can be initiated asking the court to appoint a guardian over his person and/or estate.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 9/12/2012
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