Help! I’m not sure if the Power of Attorney is being abused!

We’ve talked about powers of attorney and enduring powers of attorney in the past on this blog. In summary, these are instruments allowing a person (the attorney) to be given the authority to act on another person (the principal’s) behalf in relation to financial matters.

The attorney must at all times act in the best interests of the principal. Unfortunately however we can never predict how people would behave, and we can never tell if someone is going to abuse the power of attorney given to them. Sometimes it may not be as clear cut as abuse either – perhaps the actions taken were well-intentioned, but nevertheless not in the best interests of the principal.

If the principal is still able to do so, revoking a power of attorney is simple enough, but if the principal no longer has the capacity to make their own decisions or to revoke the enduring power of attorney, then a third party must bring an application to the Guardianship Tribunal to review the enduring power of attorney and whether it should be revoked.

This also means that the Guardianship Tribunal will have a make a decision about who should take over this job.

At the end of the day however, keeping all of the above in mind – when putting together an enduring power of attorney, it is extremely important that you choose an attorney that you can trust to do the right thing.