The Dangers of a Power of Attorney Following Separation
Many people give their spouse a Durable Power of Attorney to handle their financial affairs. In the divorce context, Durable Powers of Attorney are loaded guns. An estranged spouse can use a Durable Power of Attorney to transfer their spouse’s assets to them, take out loans in the name of their spouse, and engage in other financial transactions without that spouse’s knowledge. If you have given your spouse a Durable Power of Attorney, you should consider revoking it immediately so that it cannot be used in an unintended fashion. Check with a qualified estate planning attorney to make sure you know the rules for revoking a power of attorney. Generally, banks and other third parties can rely upon a power of attorney unless they have notice that it has been revoked. If you are concerned that your spouse may attempt to use the power of attorney without your permission, you should consider notifying all your financial institutions that the power of attorney has been revoked.