On September 5th, the Siouxland News reported a man for allegedly spending the money of a ward inappropriately under his power of attorney. The alleged perpetrator of this power of attorney abuse is a 52-year-old man named Ronald Taylor.
According to Woodbury County court documents, Sioux City resident Ronald Taylor has been accused of dependent adult abuse for using his power of attorney to clear out the bank account of his ward, a male nursing home resident with dementia. The power of attorney abuse allowed Taylor to empty approximately $23,000 out of the checking account of the resident within the last 26 months.
Power of attorney under Iowa law is a legal document that grants permission to an individual, known as the Agent, to act as the individual they are assisting, known as the Principal. A Principal may be assigned an Agent for a variety of reasons. An Agent may granted power of attorney to manage the estate of a Principal who is deployed overseas, incarcerated, or, in the case of Ronald Taylor, it the Principal is unfit to oversee their own finances due to a mental disease such as dementia.
Ronald Taylor was granted a special type of power of attorney known as durable power of attorney. Under durable power of attorney, Taylor was allowed to make decisions for his ward even while the ward was incapacitated. Some common powers of attorney include:
- Dealing with bank transactions
- Managing and entering safety deposit boxes
- Entering into contracts
- Purchasing life insurance policies
- Settling legal claims
- Filing tax returns
- Buying or selling personal property
- Managing property
- Collecting debts
- Borrowing money
- Making financial decisions
The power of attorney abuse occurred when Ronal Taylor misused his ability to manage his Principal’s bank transactions.
Ronald Taylor’s lawyer declined to comment when asked by reporters and Ronald Taylor remains in Woodbury County Jail with a bond set at $5,000. The power of attorney abuse case will begin with a hearing set for Sept. 13 of this year.
For more information about power of attorney abuse or other types of financial exploitation, visit the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys’ Financial Exploitation Page.