Power of Attorney
In the UAE, the attestation services provide a legal document known as a power of attorney, which establishes a relationship between two individuals:
1. Principal: The Principal grants authorization to the agent to act on their behalf.
2. Agent: The Power of Attorney document confers authority upon the Agent to make necessary decisions on behalf of the principal.
A power of attorney in Dubai recognizes and legally permits a trusted individual, often a close relative or family friend, to act on behalf of the principal. The principal may be elderly, ill, disabled, or otherwise unable to make decisions independently. This grant of authority in a power of attorney bestows significant power and influence upon the agent, which could potentially lead to the misuse of that authority.
The abuse of power of attorney can adversely affect individuals who are incapable of adequately caring for themselves. The agent, having gained power of attorney, gains access to legal, financial, medical, and other decision-making responsibilities. This access may extend to managing finances, handling property matters, and accessing personal information.
How can power of attorney be misused?
POA abuse occurs when the agent exploits their position by making decisions on behalf of the principal without their consent. The most common form of abuse is financial exploitation.
Financial Misappropriation and Abuse
With the authority granted by the POA, an agent may misappropriate or misuse the principal’s finances for personal gain.
If an agent misuses their POA by engaging in investments, purchases, or financial transactions for their own own own benefit instead of the Principal’s, they are engaging in power-of-attorney abuse.
By using the principal’s name and identity, the agent may open bank accounts, credit cards, or insurance products on behalf of the principal. This can potentially make the principal liable for any unlawful activities committed by the agent. Contact leading law firms in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, UAE, to initiate legal proceedings.
Abuse of Medical Insurance
When an agent engages in the misuse of nursing facility provisions, it leads to unnecessary and costly medical appointments or acquisitions.
Violation of Agent Responsibilities
The power of attorney (POA) carries the responsibility of serving the principal. These responsibilities encompass keeping the principal informed about financial, medical, and account-related matters or data covered by the agreement’s scope. The POA must seek the principal’s consent before making any financial decisions that benefit the principal while refraining from transferring the elder’s property. Failure to fulfill or breach these duties may constitute an instance of power of attorney abuse.
Potential Victims of Power of Attorney Abuse
Elderly individuals who may be living alone or have few close relatives eligible for POA designation could be affected. In some scenarios, a distant relative may step in to support the elder’s life and promise to sign a power of attorney, ostensibly to provide appropriate medical care. Alternatively, fraudulent estate planners or trust managers may present themselves as financial caretakers for the elderly, but their true intention is to exploit the POA arrangement.
Recognizing Indicators of Power-of-Attorney Misuse
To raise awareness about potential power of attorney abuse, it’s essential to be alert to the following signs and indications:
1. Sudden or unexplained changes in the principal’s financial or medical affairs.
2. Maintaining privacy or hesitating to communicate with the agent.
3. Refusal to disclose financial information or records to the principal.
4. Any signs that suggest the agent is making decisions on behalf of the principal without consultation or consent.
5. Presentation of unfamiliar or unexplained documents for signing.
6. Indications of identity theft, financial exploitation, fraud, or financial abuse.
Safeguarding Against Power-of-Attorney Abuse
When designating an agent with power of attorney, it is crucial to select a close and trustworthy individual—an individual the principal fully trusts to make decisions following their needs and wishes. Avoid granting power of attorney to a stranger,, and exercise extreme caution when engaging with financial or legal advisors.
Ensure that trusted family members, friends, and advisors are well-informed about the Agent and their Power of Attorney status. Periodically conduct surprise visits or checks to ensure no changes are made to your property or finances without your prior consent or approval.
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Maintain the ability to revoke the Power of Attorney under any circumstance and only grant it when necessary. Take necessary precautions when considering the signing of a long-term power of attorney.
Victims of Power-of-Attorney Fraud
The potential for abuses under Power of Attorney is substantial and serious. If an elder is coerced into granting or issuing a power of attorney against their will, it constitutes an act of Power of Attorney abuse. Such abuse often involves financial exploitation, which is both illegal and punishable under federal law.
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If you suspect that you or a loved one has fallen victim to Power of Attorney abuse in the UAE, do not hesitate to reach out to GA- Lawyers in UAE. They can provide guidance and assistance in addressing this legal matter effectively. Their services encompass power of attorney drafting, legal documentation, and Power of Attorney attestation, among others. You can schedule a consultation with them today to discuss your legal concerns.