LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Robert J McCarthy Jr

Trust is a Must When Appointing An Agent for Your Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a document in which a person appoints someone else to handle some or all of their responsibilities such as paying bills, banking, selling property and entering into agreements. The "principal" is the person making the appointment. The person appointed by the principal is called the agent or "attorney-in-fact".

The agent has a legal responsibility to the principal. This means that the agent must act with faithfulness and care by exercising the powers for the benefit of the principal, using reasonable caution and prudence and keeping records and receipts.

A power of attorney gives your "agent" authority so that the agent can do almost any kind of transaction on behalf of the principal. For this reason the individual who you choose as your agent is of extreme importance. Your choice of a competent agent should be someone who is extremely honest, keeps good records and is aware of their obligations. Normally this person would be your spouse or another trusted family member or friend. Remember, your attorney in fact can pay bills, deposit checks, handle taxes, sell stocks, invest in securities and do all things that you normally would do so be very careful who you choose as your agent. You can revoke this power at any time as long as you're competent, but a power of attorney should only be put into the hands of a an extremely trusted person.

Without a power of attorney and in the event of incapacity, you may have to rely on a court appointed guardian to conduct your business. It would be necessary to apply to the Massachusetts Probate Court to have a guardian or conservator appointed to make decisions for you when you are disabled. This process is expensive and time-consuming. Not to mention that the court may appoint a total stranger to oversee your affairs. A power of attorney allows you to carry on your affairs when you are unable and is a great legal device for those forward thinking enough to get one in place.

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Rob McCarthy is an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, before the military courts of the United States, before the United States Court of Military Appeals and before the federal district court of Massachusetts. Beside being an attorney, he a social media entrepreneur and strategist who served the United States as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer and as a candidate for the U.S. Congress.

Additional resources provided by the author

The information contained on this page is specific to Massachusetts and is general in nature. Nothing on this page should be considered legal, medical or therapeutic advice. Immediately consult with a licensed attorney in your home state and enter into a written attorney client relationship to get specific and confidential legal advice on any important legal matter. For a medical or other problem, immediately consult with a medical or other appropriate professional. Nothing on this page constitutes an agreement to enter an attorney client relationship with anyone. The information contained on this page may be considered legal advertisement under the rules established by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and other legal authorities. We strive to post accurate information, but readers are advised not to rely on any information herein without confirming the accuracy independently. By entering unto this page the reader is acknowledging and agreeing to the preceding. If the reader does not agree with the same, the reader is advised to immediately leave this page.

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