Through a new report, the AARP is warning seniors about granting a spouse or loved one the power of attorney over their finances.
In the worst cases, seniors have found their life savings wiped out and found there is no protection for them in those dire situations.
However, the AARP is pushing state lawmakers to adopt the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) to grant more protective rights for people who designate their powers of attorney.
"The power of attorney can be a license to steal because it grants broad powers with little oversight," said Naomi Karp, a strategic policy adviser at AARP.
The UPOAA would also make those who violate their financial responsibility through the power of attorney liable for damages.
According to the report, 12 state legislatures will consider the act in 2009. As of now, New Mexico and Idaho are the only states in the nation that have adopted the UPOAA.
Power of attorney can be beneficial for seniors who may not be able to handle their financial affairs by themselves. The AARP suggests seniors choose someone they can trust and to investigate the different types of power.