Estimated reading time (in minutes)
Heirs’ Accountability The Court of Cassation recently reiterated that during the settlement of an estate, an heir who held a power of attorney over the deceased’s accounts may be obligated to provide an account of the funds they withdrew to their co-heirs. This reminder came in a case where a father had granted power of attorney over his bank accounts to one of his daughters, who had made substantial withdrawals. When the parent passed away, the other children demanded and successfully obtained a court order requiring the daughter to return the amounts that she could not justify as being used for the benefit of their father.
Reporting Obligations of Heirs with Power of Attorney:-
Established legal precedents recognize the right of heirs to request justifications from a representative who held power of attorney over the deceased’s accounts. Furthermore, if the representative fails to demonstrate that the funds were used in the best interest or for the needs of the deceased, they may be compelled to return the funds.
The purpose of a power of attorney is to act in the best interest of the account holder, not for the agent’s personal benefit. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the representative to provide a transparent account of their actions and expenditures.
Accountability and Justifications: Heirs’ Rights in Power of Attorney Cases:-
In certain cases, particularly those involving fraudulent activities, an heir who holds power of attorney may face accusations of concealing assets within the estate. As a consequence, they could be deprived of their rightful share of the concealed funds.
This legal principle underscores the importance of accountability and transparency in managing someone else’s financial affairs through a power of attorney. It ensures that the interests of the deceased are protected and that their assets are handled appropriately during the estate settlement process. By holding representatives accountable for their actions and requiring justifications, the Court of Cassation safeguards the integrity of the estate and the rights of all the heirs involved.