An agent has a special fiduciary relationship with the principal. Civil legal action, and possibly criminal charges, can be brought against agents who use a power of attorney to take money or assets they are not entitled to.
Certain people can request records of an agent’s transactions. The police or adult protective agency can investigate reports of abuse or neglect.
If there are questions about the agent’s actions, the principal’s spouse, child or parent, as well as those who have the right to ask for records, can bring a “special proceeding” in court.
Penny Clute has been an attorney since 1973. She was the Clinton County district attorney from 1989 through 2001, then Plattsburgh City Court judge until she retired in January 2012.