The person named in a power of attorney to act on your behalf is commonly referred to as your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” With a valid power of attorney, your agent can take any action permitted in the document. When an agent accepts the authority granted under a Power of Attorney, a special legal relationship is created between the agent and the principal. This relationship imposes on the agent legal responsibilities that continue until he or she resigns or the Power of Attorney is terminated or revoked.
The agent has specific fiduciary responsibilities, including a “prudent person standard of care”. This includes record keeping with receipts and imposing on the agent the requirement that records be made available within 15 days of a written request by a monitor, co-agent, certain governmental entities, court evaluator, guardian, or a representative of the principal’s estate. An agent may be liable for conduct or omissions which violate the fiduciary duty.
The agent must:
- Act according to any instructions from the principal, or, where there are no instructions, in the principal’s best interest.
- Avoid conflicts that would impair his ability to act in the principal’s best interest.
- Keep the principal’s property separate and distinct from any assets his own or control, unless otherwise permitted by law.
- Keep a record or all receipts, payments, and transactions conducted for the principal.
- Disclose his or her identity as an agent whenever he or she act for the principal by writing or printing the principal’s name and signing his or her own name as “agent” in either of the following manners: (Principal’s Name) by (His Signature) as Agent, or (His signature) as Agent for (Principal’s Name).
If you or a family member need assistance with power of attorney me at (716) 542-5444.