Updated: Nov 17, 2022
A Quick Guide On The Legal Grounds To Challenge A POA In California
A Power of Attorney can allow an individual to make decisions for someone else's estate. Unfortunately, as much as we like to believe that every person chosen to exercise this authority is all good, there are still some cases where a POA is abused.
In some cases, the POA itself is either unclear or unfair, making it harder for anyone with an interest or standing in a certain estate.
Fortunately, POAs can still be challenged. So, whatever concerns or unfairness is happening, there's a legal way to contest a POA in Burbank, California.
Who Can Be Authorized By A Power Of Attorney?
While you have the physical and mental capability to make your own decisions, seeking powers of attorney (POAs) is vital before you lose that ability. You should find someone you can completely rely on to understand and fulfill your requests.
A spouse, adult child, close friend, or business partner is the most common example. However, it might also be a trust, corporation, or government agency.
By presenting documentation to the court, a principal in a power of attorney arrangement can amend the agreement at any time. If the principal is disabled, as is often the case, a concerned third party may ask the court to have a power of attorney withdrawn.
This, however, involves proving to the court that nullifying the POA is in the primary's best interests. The agent must be contacted, and they will be allowed to defend themselves.
To make sure you take the proper steps in challenging a POA, you should consult with a prescreened Burbank Estate Administration Lawyer in California to help you.
Legal Reasons to Dispute a Power of Attorney
That said, you cannot simply object to a Power of Attorney without a good reason.
Just because you don't like what's written and authorized doesn't make it illegal (and therefore, viable to contest or challenge).
In short, you need to have a valid reason for contesting a POA.
The following are three reasons why people dispute POAs:
1. Undue Influence
This happens when the agent obtains power of attorney by tricking or deceiving the principal into acting against their own best interests.
A situation in which someone in a position of power abuses another person, such as through persuasion, threats, or coercion, is classified as undue influence.
This can happen when this principal is old, psychologically impaired, or emotionally unstable. If coercion and manipulation are involved, it can count as undue influence.
If you or a loved one has been coerced or deceived into signing a POA, you should contact a Burbank Estate Planning Lawyer as soon as possible.
2. Abuse of Power
An agent (the one given the authority) should always act in the principal's best interest. While they're given the authority to make decisions regarding the principal's life and estate, that doesn't mean that the agent can freely do whatever they want.
The agent is commonly accused of abusing power granted by the POA for personal gain or other unethical motives. The following are some examples of abuse of authority:
Taking advantage of the assets of the principal
The assets of the principal have been mismanaged
Failure to keep proper records is a breach of fiduciary responsibility
Ignoring the requirements of the principal
Failure to follow the instructions of the POA
Making decisions for the agent's personal gain
Abuse of authority can take various forms. So, before you decide to fight a POA, seek legal advice from a Burbank Estate Administration Lawyer who has been prescreened.
3. Writing And Legal Technicalities
Because creating powers of attorney in California is quite straightforward, it's not uncommon for certain documents to miss one or more of the requirements necessary to create a legally binding POA.
As a result, the agreement may be challenged if it fails to meet the following criteria:
Specific language required by California law
Specific language that authorizes decision-making
Witnesses and their signatures
When it comes to legal documents like these, it is crucial that the writing is clear about what the agent wants. It also has to abide by the law. It should go through the process and approval of making it legally binding.
To confirm the technicalities of a POA, ask your Burbank Estate Administration Lawyer to look it over. They will know whether the document is legitimate, clear, and fair.
Powers of attorney are generally not subject to court or third-party oversight. Anyone with authority granted by a detailed written power of attorney arrangement can readily abuse it if the principal is incapable of controlling the agent.
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