If you have been named as an agent under a general durable power of attorney, your job is to carry out the instructions in the power of attorney document. If you have questions about serving as agent, please feel free to call our office at (858) 792-5988 for a consultation. We’d be happy to guide you through the process.
In the meantime, here is some general guidance to get you started.
- First, be sure that the power of attorney is effective. Most power of attorney documents are effective immediately when signed; however, some “spring” to life upon the disability of the principal (the person who signed the power of attorney).
- Second, read the power of attorney document so you understand what authority you actually have. Most powers of attorney will be very general, granting you wide powers; however, some have a limited scope.
- Third, keep good records of all your actions, especially any and all financial transactions.
- Fourth, always keep your assets separate from the principal’s assets, never commingle. It’s okay to be reimbursed for your expenses in serving as an agent, but make sure each transaction is fully documented.
- Fifth, when presenting the power of attorney document to a financial institution or other entity to show authority, have the entity copy the power of attorney document; don’t give away originals. Once the principal is incapacitated, he or she will not have the legal capacity to execute more documents. If you run out, a conservatorship process may be required.
- Seventh, if the principal dies, stop using the power of attorney immediately. You no longer have authority to act under this document.
If you have been named as an agent in a power of attorney or you would like to execute an up-to-date, legally valid power of attorney, call our office for a consultation.