Cumming, GA asked in Estate Planning for Georgia

Q: My brother was our dad's power of attorney. After our dad passed away, he used all of dad's $$ for himself

Who do I go to for help?

My brother is my dad's Power of Attorney. He handled his V.A. disability check funds.

Our dad passed away in January.

Going over dads bills, it appears that my brother was stealing from dad's account.

My copy of of the Power of Attorney form that I signed as a witness in 2007 says that he can't use the principal funds for himself, but he has.

Also, the Power of Attorney form says that an agent must provide annual accounting of all acts, receipts, and disbursements to representatives of the principals estate within 90 days after the principal's death. He hasn't.

I went to the probate office, and they sent me to the Clerk's office, who told me to call a real estate attorney, who gave me the number for another type of lawyer.

What a mess. The other lawyer didn't call me back.

I need to hold my brother accountable over dad's POA, Who enforces the POA restrictions? If no one does, what's the point of having it if they're not held accountable?

Can you point me n right direction?

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1 Lawyer Answer

A. J. Mitchell

  • Snellville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Powers of attorney are generally governed by the law of agency. One who has been given power of attorney to act on behalf of another is also referred to as an "attorney-in-fact." Such individuals are considered agents for whoever provides them power of attorney (the "principal") and have a fiduciary responsibility (characterized by a duty of loyalty, duty of trust and duty of care) to act according to the directions of the principal. Given that your brother failed in this regard, your father's estate may be able to bring suit against your brother under a legal theory of "breach of fiduciary responsibility." Of course, if your brother doesn't have anything, you may need to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether or not its worth spending money to go after him.

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