The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A.
Frederick
Location
301-694-6262
Hagerstown
Location
301-293-0010

Protecting the elderly in Maryland from power of attorney fraud

It is an unfortunate truth that the elderly are often targets of unscrupulous con artists. There are many elderly people in Maryland that have executed a power of attorney naming a person in their lives that they trust as their attorney-in-fact that will betray that trust and use the power of attorney to steal from the elderly person that trusted him or her. Protecting unsuspecting elderly family members from this type of fraud is paramount.

It is estimated that of the $2.9 billion a year that is stolen from the elderly, 34 percent was taken by a trusted family member or neighbor. There is no way to tell how much of that abuse was with the assistance of a power of attorney. However, it is highly probable that at least some of the money taken was done in a seemingly legal manner through the use of one of these documents.

Even when a party is given a limited power of attorney that is only to be used for a specific purpose, there are many people that do not understand the difference and allow the use of the document even for a purpose for which it was not intended. For instance, a power of attorney allowing someone the couple trusted to obtain their vehicle's license plates was also used to withdraw money from the couple's bank. The teller was not aware that the person did not have permission to access the account under the limited power of attorney.

A power of attorney is a vital component of any Maryland estate plan, and can be a tremendous relief for both the person giving the power of attorney and the person appointed when used properly. The important thing to remember is to appoint someone with a proven track record of being trustworthy to and on behalf of the giver of the power. There is, of course, no magic formula to choosing this person. However, picking an attorney-in-fact and executing a power of attorney when it is not needed may provide the best security against fraud. It is often when people are desperate and in dire straits that they are most vulnerable to being taken advantage of by someone.

Source: MarketWatch.com, "Power of attorney: It's easily abused," Elizabeth O'Brien, March 19, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Best Of The Best The Frederick News Post
  • Bar Association Of Frederick County, Maryland
  • NAELA National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
  • Maryland State Bar Association Inc.
  • Washington County Bar Association , DC Bar
Form Submit Button

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

For more information and a free consultation with a Maryland estate planning attorney, call us at 301-694-6262 or fill out the form below. We provide clients with the estate services they need.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

We have offices in Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland, to serve you.

Evening, weekend and off-site appointments are available upon request. Free parking is available at our Frederick office.

Our office will follow the same closing & delays as Frederick County Public Schools for both offices due to inclement weather.

Frederick Office
141 W Patrick Street
Suite 300
Frederick, MD 21701

Phone: 301-694-6262
Fax: 301-668-8884
Map & Directions
Frederick Law Office Map

Hagerstown Office
Cornerstone Wealth Center
19833 Leitersburg Pike
Suite 1
Hagerstown, MD 21742

Toll Free: 866-220-5185
Phone: 301-293-0010
Map & Directions
Hagerstown Law Office Map

Contact This Office Contact This Office