Has someone named you as their agent in a Power of Attorney?
Do you have questions about what that means? Read on!
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN AGENT?
While the power of attorney gives the agent authority to act on behalf of the principal, an agent is not required to serve. An agent may have a moral or other obligation to take on the responsibilities associated with the power of attorney, but the power of attorney does not create an obligation to assume the duties. However, once an agent takes on a responsibility, there is a duty to act prudently.
IS THERE A CERTAIN CODE OF CONDUCT FOR AGENTS?
Yes. Agents must meet certain standards of care when performing their duties. An agent is looked upon as a “fiduciary” under the law. A fiduciary relationship is one of trust. If the agent violates this trust, the law may punish the agent both civilly (by ordering the payment of restitution and punishment money) and criminally (probation or jail).
WHAT IS “FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY”?
An agent is a fiduciary and as such has multiple duties when acting for the principal. These include an overriding duty to do only those acts authorized by the power of attorney, and when performing those acts to act in accordance with the principal’s reasonable expectations, to act in the principal’s best interest and to attempt to preserve the principal’s estate plan. The preservation of the estate plan is dependent on a number of factors, including the agent’s knowledge of the plan and the needs and desires of the principal. This standard requires the agent to exercise reasonable care and caution in managing the assets of the principal.
Read more via link in bio ✨