Sunday, January 27, 2008

The "kitchen sink" power of attorney your rich uncle gave you is not your personal gold card. Nebraska Supreme Court holds that the attorney-in fact's plenary power of attorney did not permit him to transfer gifts from the principal to himself or his family members without specific authorization. Archbold v. Reifenrath, S-06-1124, 274 Neb. . "Section 49-1557 provides that plenary power authorizes the agent to act as the principal’s alter ego. Notably, § 49-1557 limits plenary power to those acts an agent is otherwise authorized to do as an agent. As explained above, our case law on the subject has made clear that an agent is not authorized to make substantially gratuitous transfers to himself or his family absent an express provision in the POA. Because the POA in this case does not contain a specific authorization for the making of gratuitous transfers by Joseph to himself or his immediate family, we determine that Joseph has failed to meet his burden." The attorney-in-fact defendant probably should not have offered the testimony of his attorney who prepared the document to introduce parole evidence that the principal intended to allow gratuitous transfers, because the Nebraska Supreme Court had suspended her a few years ago for her handling of real estate transactions in a divorce case.

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