Legal Question in Elder Law in Nebraska

need advice in elder law

my aunt in CA was Power of Attorney for my grandmother in NE. the family has now found out my aunt stole money from my grandmother's bank accounts. how do we hold my aunt responsible for the money she stole? is this embezzlement? where do we file charges in NE or CA or both? need advice, grandma is missing about $55,000 that we have found so far & she is 90 yrs old still needing to pay for assisted living!

Asked on 1/14/08, 9:31 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Duke Drouillard Drouillard Law, LLC

Re: need advice in elder law

What proof do you have that the money was stolen? Aunt may have moved the money to an investment fund or another account. A power of attorney is a convenient but dangerous instrument for the reasons you suggest. If aunt holds a valid power of attorney, she may do anything with the funds that your grandmother could do. Without a power of attorney, aunt would need to establish a guardianship to control grandmother's funds. A guardianship is under court supervision, the guardian must submit to the court's jurisdiction, and the guardian must file an accounting with the court. Less convenient and more expensive than a power of attorney, but safer. If grandmother is competent, she may revoke the power of attorney in writing to aunt, send certified mail with receipt requested to prove aunt received it, and request she return any funds that have been moved. This may create hard feelings between aunt and the rest of the family. If grandmother is not competent, then a guardianship proceeding should be started in Nebraska to have a guardian appointed for grandmother. Aunt may apply to be the guardian and, if she does, she will have to submit to the jurisdiction of Nebraska courts. Once a guardianship is established, the court will oversee the handling of grandmother's funds.

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Answered on 1/15/08, 12:16 am
John Steele Steele Law Firm

Re: need advice in elder law

Assuming you can prove this theft, and the suit is not futile, you file in NE. When acting under a power of attorney, you are filling the shoes of the principle, located in NE.

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Answered on 1/15/08, 1:06 am

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