Attorney in Fact
If you want to name someone in your power of attorney as having the ability to make decisions on your behalf, you might hear this person called an agent or an attorney in fact. The point of a POA is to establish who has the legal authority to render decisions that you equip him or her to make in the even that you’re unable to do so on your own. If you become incapacitated due to an accident, for example, this person would step in and be able to carry out your business on your behalf so that you can focus on your medical care. Don’t wait until it’s too late to put someone in this role. Don’t let disputes emerge during this difficult time for your loved ones.
Do you know whether or not you need to hire a Pennsylvania attorney in fact? This is also referred to as a power of attorney and a knowledgeable attorney in fact lawyer in Pennsylvania can help you to figure out what this role means and how you need to prepare for if you have been named as an attorney in fact. An attorney in fact is typically the agent who has been appointed to serve as a power of attorney agent for another individual, such as a loved one. Along with other estate planning tools, like a will, you need someone you can trust.
If you have been named as the attorney in fact, there are specific responsibilities you must be aware of and you should be prepared to speak to a knowledgeable attorney in fact lawyer in Pennsylvania about what you need to do regarding this role. There are numerous different duties associated with an attorney in fact. The individual who authorized you power of attorney is often known as the principal, meaning that you are the person who is taking action instead of the principal known as the attorney in fact or the agent. As an agent, you must serve as a fiduciary.
A Pennsylvania attorney in fact attorney will help you to understand your responsibilities and duties as a fiduciary. A fiduciary has the responsibility for maintaining the money and assets owned by someone else and other kinds of fiduciaries include guardians, executors, and trustees. Pennsylvania law requires that, in addition to the duties outlined in the actual POA document, that you use the powers you have for the benefit of the principle, exercise general caution and prudence, and maintain the assets of the principal party separate from your own. Furthermore, you need to maintain a comprehensive and accurate record of all the actions that you take on behalf of the principle, including assets and income that you receive or disbursements that you make. You must sign a form that you agree to the above for requirements if the power of attorney was signed after April of 2000. Being another person's attorney in fact is a serious situation and could lead to you having some level of personal responsibility if you are not careful. Those who have been assigned personal responsibility as an attorney in fact must be prepared to represent themselves in legal cases if they are accused of some type of breach of fiduciary duty. You should never accept a role as a power of attorney if you are not familiar with what this requires of you or if you are not prepared to meet the necessary requirements as outlined above as you could find yourself in the midst of estate litigation. Schedule a consultation with a Pennsylvania attorney in fact lawyer, who understands the landscape and will be able to answer your questions effectively so that you can avoid mistakes and identify whether or not you want to serve in this role to begin with.