Why It’s Important to Understand that a Power of Attorney Agent Should Act in Your Best Interest

Selecting someone to serve as your power of attorney agent is an important consideration and one that should only be made after a consultation with your estate planning attorney and a conversation with the individual you intend to name in this role.

One of the primary duties of a fiduciary or agent who is managing someone else’s property or money is to act in that individual’s best interests. It is important for the person who is selected to serve in this role to understand when the power of attorney officially becomes effective, what the power of attorney says and the benefits of including the principal to the power of attorney in decisions where possible.

In certain situations, you may have enacted a power of attorney with an agent to act on your behalf but he or she may also consult with you to the extent that you’re able to. Furthermore, there are several other things that a power of attorney agent should do in order to avoid problems. These include:

  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Avoid changing any plans for giving away assets or property when the principal dies
  • Do not loan, give or borrow the principal’s money
  • The agent should not pay himself or herself for acting as the agent unless state law or the power of attorney allows it

Do you have further questions about establishing a power of attorney? If so, you need to speak with an estate planning lawyer.