Most people do not realize that once they have become an agent for an individual, their duty is to act in the best interest of the individual and not for their own benefit. Sometimes agents make gifts to themselves or change the way bank or stock accounts are title so that the become the beneficiary upon the death of the individual. These actions are violations of the agents fiduciary duty and self dealing. Often what is done interferes with someone’s right to an expectancy as a beneficiary or owner of an account.
In addition to creating liability to the beneficiary or the decedent’s estate, in Florida such actions can also create criminal liability under Florida’s Elder Abuse Statutes. If you have been accused of actions like these it is important to coordinate your defense with a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer who is familiar with Florida Abuse of the Elderly.
It is important to file a caveat or lis pendens as soon as possible to prevent the assets from being transferred to those who are without notice of these potential claims. Filing a caveat can make sure you receive notice prior to a will being admitted and a personal representative being appointed by the Florida Probate court.
If you believe your inheritance has been adversely affected by the actions of an agent acting under a durable power of attorney please Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss an action against the agent or the estate.