Matter of Walter

Robert Friedman

Case Conclusion Date:May 31, 2011

Practice Area:Elder Law

Outcome:The Erie County Supreme Court revoked the power of attorney

Description:Our client’s mother, while competent, had designated her adult daughter to serve as her power of attorney and health care proxy. The daughter used her mother’s credit cards, automobile and bank accounts for her own personal use. A Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 petition was filed by our client to have a guardian appointed for his mother and to revoke the power of attorney and health care proxy. The Erie County Supreme Court revoked the power of attorney due to the daughter’s self-dealing and breach of her fiduciary duty. However, it did not revoke the Health Care Proxy because it was not proven that the daughter was unavailable or unwilling to act, or that her actions or inactions rose to the level of incompetence or bad faith. However, due to the fighting among the children, the Court appointed an independent third-party to serve as full guardian of the mother’s property and limited guardian of her person.