An agent under a power of attorney has an overriding responsibility known as a fiduciary obligation to ensure that financial decisions are in the best interests of the person who named that agent under a power of attorney. Not all powers of attorney will grant full financial rights regarding assets.
The right to act is based on the individual fiduciary’s circumstances so that if a person is acting in a way that is not in the best interests of the principal or the creator of the document, then that party does not have the power to act.
Many people are concerned about establishing a power of attorney document because they are concerned about an appointed agent who might mismanage their assets and affairs. It is always important to remember that an agent should never legally do something that is not in your best interests.
You should, however, always appoint someone you can trust to serve in this role. This person should have integrity and should be trustworthy, particularly if the power of attorney is intended to be used after you have become incapacitated. Make sure you think carefully about the right person to appoint in a power of attorney role and have discussed your individual circumstances with this person so that they are well prepared to act, if necessary.
If you are curious about establishing a power of attorney or revoking an existing power of attorney, a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer should be used to approach this process with care. Whether you’re creating a power of attorney for the first time or revoking an older one, the details matter. Let our Pasadena estate law office help you.