Power of Attorney Accounting Claims
A power of attorney is a document which authorizes one person — the agent — to act on behalf of another person — the principal. By statute, the principal may petition a court for an accounting of the agent’s activities under the power of attorney. In certain circumstances, the principal’s family may petition.
Section 404.727, RSMo provides:
The principal [under a durable power] may petition the court for an accounting by
the principal’s attorney in fact or the legal representative of the attorney in fact. If the principal is disabled, incapacitated or deceased, a petition for accounting may
be filed by the principal’s legal representative, an adult member of the principal’s
family or any person interested in the welfare of the principal.
Significantly, the Court is not obligated to order an accounting. The Court has discretion in determining whether an accounting should or should not be ordered. Williams v. Walls, 964 S.W.2d 839, 849 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998). The trial court’s exercise of discretion on this issue will only be overturned on appeal if there is an abuse of discretion. Id.