What is an Attorney-In-Fact
In the legal world, an attorney-in-fact is someone who has been appointed to act on another person’s behalf. This can be done through a legal document known as a power of attorney. The person granting the power of attorney is known as the “principal,” while the attorney-in-fact is referred to as the “agent.” The agent will have the authority to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the principal. This can include financial decisions, legal matters, and other personal matters.
Attorney-in-facts are typically used when the principal is unable to make decisions for themselves, such as in the case of incapacitation or illness. It is important to note that an attorney-in-fact is not the same as an attorney-at-law. An attorney-at-law is a licensed legal professional who represents clients in court. An attorney-in-fact, on the other hand, does not need to be a licensed legal professional. Anyone can be appointed as an attorney-in-fact, so long as they are over the age of 18 and considered to be of sound mind.
What are the duties of an Attorney-In-Fact
The duties of an Attorney-In-Fact can vary depending on the situation, but they typically involve handling financial matters on behalf of the person they are representing. This can include opening and maintaining bank accounts, paying bills, investing money, and filing taxes. In some cases, the Attorney-In-Fact may also have the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the person they are representing. It is important to note that the Attorney-In-Fact is not a legal guardian, and they do not have the same powers as a court-appointed guardian.
What happens if the Principal dies or becomes incapacitated
If the Principal dies or becomes incapacitated, the Attorney-In-Fact will step in to make financial and legal decisions on their behalf. This can be a daunting responsibility, so it is important to choose someone who is trustworthy and up to the task. The Attorney-In-Fact will need to have a good understanding of the Principal’s finances and legal affairs, as well as their personal preferences and values. They will also need to be able to work well under pressure and handle difficult situations with tact and diplomacy. If the Principal has not named an Attorney-In-Fact, or if the Attorney-In-Fact is unable or unwilling to serve, then a court will appoint someone to act on the Principal’s behalf. This person is known as a guardian or conservator, and they will have similar powers and responsibilities as an Attorney-In-Fact.
Can the Attorney-In-Fact sell the property of the Principal
The Attorney-In-Fact has the same power as the Principal, including the power to sell property. In order to sell the property of the Principal, the Attorney-In-Fact must follow the same procedures as the Principal would follow if they were selling the property themselves. This includes advertising the sale, negotiating with potential buyers, and executing documents such as a sales contract or deed. Once the sale is complete, the Attorney-In-Fact must then provide proof of sale to the Principal. Only after receiving proof of sale from the Attorney-In-Fact can the Principal then transfer ownership of the property.
Can the Attorney-In-Fact make gifts on behalf of the Principal
The Attorney-In-Fact has the authority to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the Principal, including making gifts. There are some restrictions on the Attorney-In-Fact’s ability to make gifts, however. For example, the Attorney-In-Fact may only make gifts if authorized to do so by the terms of the power of attorney document. Additionally, the Attorney-In-Fact must act in good faith and in the best interests of the Principal. If the Attorney-In-Fact makes a gift that is not in the best interests of the Principal, or if the Attorney-In-Fact abuses their authority, they may be held liable.
What are the limitations of an Attorney-In-Fact
There are some limitations on what an Attorney-In-Fact can do. They cannot make decisions that would violate the law or the other person’s rights. They also cannot make decisions that would cause the other person financial harm. If an Attorney-In-Fact does not act in the other person’s best interests, they can be removed from their position. Finally, an Attorney-In-Fact cannot change their power of attorney without the permission of the person they are representing. While Attorney-In-Facts have a great deal of responsibility, there are also some limitations on their power.
How long does an Attorney-In-Fact have power
An Attorney-In-Fact is a person who is designated in an official capacity to act on another person’s behalf. This person typically has a wide range of powers, including the authority to sign legal documents and make financial decisions. The Attorney-In-Fact can be designated in a variety of ways, including through a Durable Power of Attorney or a Healthcare Proxy. The Attorney-In-Fact’s powers generally last until the individual revokes the designation or dies. As a result, it is important to choose someone who you trust implicitly and who you are confident will act in your best interests.