May 13, 2009

Not Munchkins, too? Seems Over the Rainbow Somehow

rainbow.JPGIn what's starting to seem like a series on the ways in which powers of attorney can cause heartache -- or worse, elder abuse -- comes a story out of St. Louis. The heirs of one of the last surviving Munchkins from the film The Wizard of Oz, Mickey Carroll (real name, Michael Finocchiaro), are suing his caretaker, Linda Dodge, claiming that she and others took advantage of the actor in his final years.

The heirs claim that Mr. Carroll, who died Thursday, May 7, signed powers of attorney transferring power over his property and health care decisions to Dodge when he was unable to understand what he was signing. They further claim that Dodge then kept him isolated, spent his assets, and kept the money that Carroll made from appearing at events.

Dodge counters that the dispute is just a "family squabble" and that she took good care of Carroll.

To learn more about financial powers of attorney, see Nolo's article Financial Powers of Attorney: Do You Need One?.