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Power Of Attorney Disputes

The Legal Obligations Of Your Attorney

Attorneys have a legal obligation to exercise their powers with reasonable diligence to protect your affairs and to always act in your best interest.  They are also prohibited from charging a fee for performing their duties pursuant to the Power of Attorney, however they may recover reasonable expenses they incurred in the execution of their duties. Your Attorney must also preserve accounts and keep records of all financial dealing under the Power of Attorney; failure to do so is a legal offence.

What happens if your Attorney is not acting in your best interests?

If you or a family member are concerned that an Attorney is not acting in your best interests or has been improperly managing a person’s affairs pursuant to an Enduring Power of Attorney, we can advise you on what legal options are available to you.

If your attorney has mismanaged your affairs, they may be liable to compensate you for your losses. We can advise you as to the options that are available to recover any losses that have been sustained.

If you have a proper interest in a matter relating to an Enduring Power of Attorney and you are concerned with how an attorney has been managing a person’s financial affairs, you can apply to the Supreme Court of South Australia for an Order:

  • Requiring the Attorney to produce all accounts, transactions and records relating to the Power of Attorney;
  • To audit all such records; and/or
  • To revoke or vary the terms of the Power of Attorney.

What if the person granting the Power of Attorney has passed away?

If you are a beneficiary under a will of a deceased person and you are concerned  that the attorney has acted improperly whilst exercising the power, resulting in your share under the will being diminished, then you can also make an application to the Supreme Court of South Australia.

If you succeed, the Court has the power to make an Order to rectify any disproportionate disadvantage to you under the will. These applications must be made within six months of the Grant of Probate or the Letters of Administration. However, the Court may grant an extension of time in special circumstances.

SACAT

If the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) have made an Administration Order appointing an Administrator to make decisions about the legal and financial affairs of a person and you are concerned that the Administrator is not properly discharging their duties, we can help you with the process to challenge the appointment through SACAT and seeking the appointment of another administrator. If you are concerned that an Attorney has not been mismanaging your affairs or those of a family member, we can also advise you as to what options are available through SACAT for challenging the Attorney and obtaining an Administration Order.

How can we help?

We can provide you with legal advice and representation in relation any concerns that an Attorney or Administrator has acted improperly in managing a person’s legal and financial affairs. Please contact us for a free 20 minute consultation.

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