Ohio adults with elderly parents might suspect that someone is taking advantage of their parents’ old age. Your parents might have assigned someone to be their financial power of attorney – someone who has access to their finances to manage and pay the bills. If you believe that person is now abusing their responsibilities, you have the right to be concerned.

A power of attorney assigns a person, called an “agent,” to act in good faith for “the principal,” or the elderly person in need of assistance. In this case, the principal would be your parents.

If you believe that the agent is disrespecting your parents’ wishes, you will need to prove it. The following are some common ways agents might abuse their power:

  • The agent is not following the power of attorney instructions.
  • The agent is not checking in with your parents regularly.
  • There have been late or missed payments for your parents’ care.
  • There have been sudden changes to your parents’ care, such as moving them to a different facility or terminating any special care they receive.
  • The agent’s lifestyle has suddenly changed, such as purchasing a new car or expensive jewelry.
  • The agent prevents you or other relatives from visiting with your parents.

A power of attorney should provide your parents with peace of mind that someone is looking after their finances responsibly. However, someone might use this new financial access to pay off their own bills or purchase luxury goods for themselves. This abuse of power can seriously affect your parents’ well-being and should be stopped immediately.

It can be challenging to prove that the agent abused their power. However, an attorney with experience in these types of cases can help you build a case and protect your parents from further abuse.

Your parents should be able to put their faith in their chosen agent and trust that everything will be okay. By taking legal action, you can try to correct the damage that an irresponsible agent caused.