What can I do if my husband's agent under a durable power of attorney is mismanaging his assets?
Victims of durable power of attorney (DPA) abuse or their family members often need help from the adult protective services, civil justice, or criminal justice systems to stop further abuse by the agent and to recover money, property, or other assets from the agent.
DPA abuse (sometimes referred to as POA abuse) is the misuse by the agent of the authority granted by the principal. It means making a decision or taking an action that is not in the principal’s best interest. For example, DPA abuse occurs when the agent spends the principal’s money to benefit the agent, rather than the principal. It may also include forging the principal’s signature on the DPA or coercing an oder person to make a DPA against his or her wishes.
Powers of attorney, whether general, durable, or springing, usually are not subject to oversight by a court or third party. If the principal becomes incapacitated and can no longer monitor the agent’s actions, this lack of oversight for a broadly written legal document makes it very easy for an agent to abuse the authority granted.
Under Virginia law, a person interested in the principal's welfare (for example, a family member or a co-agent), can make a written request to the agent asking him or her to disclose any actions taken on behalf of the principal within the past five years and to allow reasonable inspection of records about these actions. If the agent refuses to comply with this request within 60 days, the person interested in your welfare can bring a case in circuit court to get a court order requiring the agent to provide the requested records.
You could also file a case in circuit court seeking an accounting from your agent.
Otherwise, if the principal is still legally competent (which may require a medical opinion), he or she may revoke the power of attorney.