The intersection of different areas of law can occur in almost any situation in Florida...many of which intersect with criminal charges. The intersection of different areas of law occurs when a situation has more than one legal implication, such as a scenario wherein an individual abuses a power of attorney. In this type of situation, the laws governing the power of attorney can intersect with related criminal charges.
Allegations of power of attorney abuse are often challenging situations, because the person accused of the abuse is generally a family member or close friend of the victim. Commonly in Florida, power of attorney abuse occurs with elderly individuals who sign power of attorney to one of their children or a close acquaintance. A 50-year-old woman was recently arrested pursuant to allegations of power of attorney abuse.
The woman was the power of attorney for her elderly mother, who is reportedly suffering from dementia and lives at an assisted living facility. The allegations came to light when the assisted living facility made a report to local police that the elderly woman's rent was not paid for two consecutive months. The allegations claimed the woman was using her mother's money for personal use, instead of using the funds to provide for her mother's healthcare and daily living expenses. In addition to a local police report, the assisted living facility also reported the incident to Adult Protective Services and an investigation has been initiated.
The woman has admitted to abusing the power of attorney for her mother by misusing her mother's funds. The total amount of money that was misused was $2,200. The woman faces criminal charges for theft and the elderly woman's son has obtained power of attorney.
Source: The Olympian, "Woman arrested on suspicion of stealing from elderly mother," Jeremy Pawloski, Oct. 23, 2012