Can a a person with power of attorney, close out bank accounts and stock accounts that someone else is beneficiary of?

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Can a a person with power of attorney, close out bank accounts and stock accounts that someone else is beneficiary of?

Asked on May 25, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The beneficiary can sue the person with power of attorney for conversion which is theft in a civil case for stealing the funds.  The beneficiary's remedy is to seek a constructive trust which will require the person with power of attorney to return the stolen funds to the accounts.  If the stolen funds have been used for purchases, the constructive trust can trace the funds to those purchases and those items or their value can be returned to the accounts.
The beneficiary can also pursue a separate criminal case for embezzlement against the person who had power of attorney.


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