Power-of-attorney has the power to be abused in Florida.

Approved ~~ MJM

There are no safeguards when the vulnerable sign over control of their affairs. Investigators say that’s how a Riverview woman took $500,000 from a 93-year-old Pinellas Park man she had never met before.

Maurice Myers spent the last year of his life suffering from several ailments, with no close family to help the 93-year-old manage his affairs.

There’s an option for vulnerable adults like him. A court-appointed guardianship is designed to protect those who can no longer make their own legal and medical decisions. Every choice those caretakers make and dollar they spend must be approved by a judge.

Power-of-attorney has no such safeguards.

That is the legal mechanism that detectives say Traci Hudson used to swindle more than $500,000 from Myers — with no one keeping watch as it happened.

It is a powerful piece of paper, experts say, and if that power is abused, the onus is on the vulnerable person and those around them to report it.

Continued…

Article URL: https://www.tampabay.com/news/crime/2019/12/23/power-of-attorney-has-the-power-to-be-abused-in-florida/

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