Enduring Powers of Attorney and Financial Exploitation of Older People: A Conceptual Analysis and Strategies for Prevention

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 2019
Issue Date:
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Enduring powers of attorney (POAs) are commonly used legal instruments that enable older people to plan for asset management in the event of future incapacity. The policy objective of POAs – empowering control over money and property – are frustrated when POAs are misused to financially exploit older people. This article integrates theory and evidence to propose a conceptual framework for POA-facilitated financial exploitation (POA-FE). Identified risk factors include: inadequate knowledge about the POA role; family conflicts; attitudes of entitlement; and lack of planning and preparation for financial decision-making. POA-FE occurs on a continuum of behavior and strategies for preventing POA-FE are suggested using strengths-based approaches for older people and their attorneys.
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