Designating an attorney-in-fact can require the utmost caution to keep a person’s finances protected. Allotting the power of attorney can be both fulfilling and beneficial by giving individuals peace in knowing that their finances are being utilized for the exact purposes they wish. Unfortunately, some individuals seek to find ways to access and misuse the funds.

A 74-year-old woman detailed that on the occasion of her passing, a cat was to be looked after through a trust in her will, and that the surplus assets advantage animal welfare. The woman’s neighbor evidently received the ability to make economic decisions on the woman’s behalf, and also persuaded the woman to designate her as administrator of the will and give her power of attorney. Apparently the 7-year-old tabby – named Puddy Cat – at one time stood to acquire a portion of the trust fund valuing $450,000 at the least.

The neighbors allegedly emptied $175,000 from the Brighton woman’s bank account within one year. Under the pretense of looking after Puddy Cat, the neighbors used the tabby to obtain admission to the woman’s assets and bank accounts, a district attorney stated. Authorities apparently had the ability to restore part of the money that was taken. Both neighbors pleaded not guilty regarding an indictment of 63 counts regarding despoiling the woman’s accounts. The woman evidently resides in a nursing home and is experiencing progressive dementia.

Allocating the durable power of attorney can provide a person with a promising method for entrusting their assets, but using legal precautions while assigning the responsibility of a power of attorney may better ensure that a person’s finances are used for their original intent. If you are contemplating appointing a person with the power of attorney, you may wish to contact an estate-planning lawyer for detailed assistance.

Source: CNN, “Tabby named Puddy Cat and its owner defrauded of $450,000, prosecutors say,” Shelby Lin Erdman, April 21, 2014