We usually recommend that our clients consider appointing another person to act as their attorney, pursuant to an Enduring Power of Attorney document, in case they become unable to manage their own affairs through lack of capacity or sudden illness or injury. The use of these Powers of Attorney is generally in accordance with the obligations cast upon the attorney by the appointment but, occasionally, attorneys can “go rogue” and abuse the power.
An attorney appointed pursuant to a Power of Attorney is a trustee and as such must always act in the best interests of the person who appointed them. They must not prefer their own interests over those of the person who has trusted them to look after their affairs. If they do, and the donor of the power still has capacity, we can take steps to immediately revoke the Power of Attorney and take proceedings to recover any funds or assets that have been improperly dealt with. If the donor of the power does not have capacity we can still assist by making an application to NCAT (a Government Tribunal) for orders terminating the appointment and for the appointment of an alternative financial manager/guardian. Orders can also be sought to recover money and property wrongly taken.