I'm trying to straighten out part of a plot line that involves a small business, possibly the power of attorney, and the consequences of illegal actions by the business. Any help would be appreciated, as I'm not even sure I'm asking the right questions.

The situation: the father owns a small business. The son is either a) co-owner, or b) has power of attorney because the father is mentally incapacitated. The son lives in another state and has as little to do with the business as possible; there is a manager and workers and so forth (it's a small store). The workers at the store are busy continuing a fencing operation (with the father was involved in before Alzheimers set in), against the will and/or knowledge of the son. The father dies, leaving the business to the son. Within a short time, the son also dies, and his wife inherits the business.

Question: If, while the son was in charge, the business engaged in theft, would the wife (as owner of the store) inherit any kind of legal responsibility for repaying that theft/dealing with legal consequences of it? She has no idea that any of this was going on.

Also, back to the power of attorney vs. co-owner, if the father is incapacitated and the power of attorney situation goes into effect, is the son then ultimately responsible for any illegal actions performed by this business?

I'm primarily looking for a way to implicate the son, have bad consequences for his family once he dies, and have a single clause/situation which, if it didn't exist, would exonerate the father. Am I asking the right questions? If not, which questions should I ask? And what resources should I be looking at to understand this better?