Pool-O’Connor v. Guadarrama

Financial powers of attorney give the named agent broad control over the principal’s assets and thus are a key component of estate planning. Such powers allow the agent to help if and when the principal becomes incapacitated. A corrupt agent, however, may use powers of attorney as a “license to steal.”

Agents who favor themselves may end up in hot water, accused of breach of fiduciary duty. That’s the lesson of Pool-O’Connor v. Guadarrama (2023) ___ Cal.App.5th ___, a case involving an agent who wrongfully used a joint account to handle his uncle’s money.