Loans, Taxes, and Law

Can a Power of Attorney Transfer Money to Themselves


A Power of Attorney (POA) is a useful tool for managing finances if you become unable to do so yourself. But the authority bestowed upon a POA also holds risks of abuse. This article examines whether a POA can legally transfer your money into their own accounts.

Legal Framework Governing POA Financial Transactions

Legal Resources for POA Misuse

The Power of Attorney (POA) financial transactions can vary by jurisdiction, but there are some common principles that generally apply.

General Rules

The general legal rule is that a POA cannot engage in “self-dealing” – transferring the principal’s assets into their own accounts or for personal benefit without authorization. This constitutes financial exploitation.

State-Specific Regulations

Laws governing POA financial powers vary across states. Some prohibit self-gifting outright, while others permit it if strict regulations are followed. It is crucial to understand your state’s specific statutes.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are some scenarios where a POA may legally and ethically transfer the principal’s money to themselves:

Structured Authorization

If the POA document explicitly allows self-gifting by the agent, following proper procedures, it is permitted in most states.


The POA can transfer funds to themselves as reimbursement for legitimate expenses paid on the principal’s behalf.

Principal’s Best Interest

Transfers proven to be in an incapacitated principal’s best interests may be permitted in certain cases.

Legal Resources for POA Misuse

Legal Framework Governing POA Financial Transactions

If a POA exploits their position through unauthorized money transfers, they face:

Civil and Criminal Charges

The POA may face lawsuits forcing repayment and additional damages. Criminal fraud or embezzlement charges are also possible in egregious cases.

Revocation of Authority

Financial abuse provides grounds for the principal to legally revoke the POA appointment.

Safeguarding Against POA Financial Misuse

Safeguarding Against POA Financial Misuse

Robust POA Agreement

The agreement should clearly outline approved financial powers and limitations to minimize misuse risks.

Monitoring Transactions

Online banking dashboards allow close tracking of account activities to detect unauthorized transfers.

Real World POA Money Transfer Scenarios

Real World POA Money Transfer Scenarios

Lawful Transfer

Lucy’s POA was authorized in her POA agreement to gift themselves reasonable monthly compensation from her account for caregiving services1.

Unlawful Transfer

Joseph discovered his POA had transferred thousands from his savings into the POA’s personal account without consent. This constituted financial abuse1.


A POA must avoid any conflicts of interest and financial self-dealing unless expressly permitted. Careful appointment and monitoring is key to prevent abuse while still benefiting from POA money management assistance.

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Harper Lewis
Harper Lewis, a senior author, seamlessly blends literary prowess with a profound understanding of law and insightful opinions. Her multifaceted expertise enriches her work, offering readers a unique perspective at the intersection of literature and legal insight.

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