Edmonton Police Service have launched a campaign to remind the public that exploiting seniors through a Power of Attorney is a criminal offence.
“We suspect there are many incidents that also go unreported. Some are also reported after a senior’s death when the will takes effect. At that time, family members discover that there is little if any funds left from the seniors’ estate to share between remaining family members,” said Detective Alfred Ma. “Not only are they dealing with the death of their loved one, but the criminal behavior and betrayal of a surviving family member. It can be very distressing for people.”
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person authority to make financial decisions on someone’s behalf. In many cases, the senior enacting the POA has lost the ability to properly manage their own finances.
One case investigated by EPS involved a senior having over a million dollars stolen by a family member through e-transfers. The theft happened over the course of years, and resulted in the family member being charged with fraud and theft over $5,000.
To help spread awareness about the Power of Attorney and the criminal consequences that go along with it, Edmonton Police have launched a 15 second commercial which will be airing on Edmonton television stations and posted to social media.
You can watch the commercial below: