Does challenging a power of attorney ever work?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2022 | Estate Planning, Trust And Probate Litigation

A power of attorney or POA is just about as powerful as it is perilous. It’s a high-risk decision to put your signature on of these documents. Anyone who does so in California should be aware that it can still be challenged in a few different ways.

What is a power of attorney for?

With a power of attorney, an individual referred to as the agent is authorized to make decisions for someone else, who is called the principal. The agent can be given the authority to take care of their health care, finances and property.

The principal gets to pick whoever they want to be their agent. And much in the same way, it’s entirely up to them if and when they want to revoke the arrangement.

Ways to challenge a power of attorney

There are a few routes you can take to challenge a power of attorney. You might have multiple options that you could pursue, and if that’s the case, it might be best to review all of them first to see which one sets you up with the strongest case.

One way to challenge the POA is by claiming that the principal lacked mental competence at the time it was signed. If the principal doesn’t seem to be in their right mind or otherwise lacks the ability to make decisions for themselves, you may feel like it’s time to step in.

Just remember that it will take substantial evidence to override the original wishes of the principal. Examples of mental incompetency that are commonly accepted in court include psychiatric problems and dementia.