A power of attorney is legally enforceable documentation that grants one individual, the agent, the power to act on behalf of another individual, the principal, in particular matters ranging from healthcare to the managing of personal property and financials. A principal typically uses this document to enable the agent to act when the principal is unable carry out their own matters because of mental or physical debility or inaccessibility.
Even though the power of attorney is the documents name, the term occasionally is in reference to the agent.
An Agent’s Power
Having this authority, the agent takes the place of the principal and makes significant decisions on behalf of the principal. The exact degree of the agent’s power subject on the kind of power of attorney.
At large, this document enables the agent broad power to act on the principal’s behalf in all aspects of financial and/or property issues. A principal could execute a limited power of attorney for a particular purpose, like for the buying or selling of property or handling a certain financial institution account.
The principal can also enable an agent the power to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal. Nevertheless, in a lot of states, the principal is required to execute a separate document known as a medical and/or healthcare power of attorney solely for this purpose.
An Agent’s Duties
Using one or more POA, the principal can permit an agent to handle a multitude of tasks, comprising of entering into contracts, managing real and/or personal property, handling the principal’s financial and tax matters, and making arrangements for the principal’s housing and healthcare.
The agent’s main duty is to comply with the conditions of the associated document. The agent can only act to the degree that the written agreement permits. When the principal gives the agent particular directions in regard to the actions the agent needs to take, the agent is required to abide by those directions. It is wise for the principal to speak to and then verify in writing any wishes they have for their agent. They required act in the best interests of the principal, instead of their own interests.
They needs to also avoid any conflicting interests. The agent is unable merge or integrate their property with their principal’s property, barring the principal and their agent jointly-owned the property prior to creating the POA. For instance, when the two are married, property the spouses jointly-owned would be allowable. The agent needs to also keep detailed records of every transaction the agent enters into on the principal’s behalf.
End of the Agent’s Duties
An agent’s duties discontinue when the POA ends or when the agent steps down. A power of attorney ends when the principal passes away or retracts the document, or upon the conclusion of the transaction for why the principal devised the document. An agent may step down from acting on the principal behalf by following the particular conditions laid out in the written agreement when the agreement specifies a way for the agent to step down.
A POA is a helpful life-planning device. Choose the individual you designate with these powers cautiously, because they are going to have total control over significant areas of your life should you be unable in making decisions on your own. When you think you are only requiring this assistance for a short time, think about limiting the agent’s conditions of service or giving them a way to step down.
Bodniowycz, L. (2018, October 17). What Are the Duties of Power of Attorney? LegalZoom. https://info.legalzoom.com/article/what-are-duties-power-attorney.
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