Am I Responsible for My Parent’s Debt if I Have a Power of Attorney? DoNotPay Knows!
Did your parents ask you to be their attorney-in-fact, but you’re not sure whether to accept it because you don’t know which responsibilities you’ll have? DoNotPay is here to help you out.
If you’re wondering, “Am I responsible for my parent’s debt if I have a power of attorney?’’ or have any other concerns regarding this role, you can count on DoNotPay to find out the answer. Our app will also provide you with all the other info you may need about powers of attorney (POA) and help you create this document in a flash.
Regardless of who wants to appoint you as an agent—whether your parent, friend, or family member—you should be aware of your potential responsibilities. Those can include:
- Acting diligently and in good faith for the principal’s benefit
- Managing the principal’s real estate, investments, financial assets, and bank accounts
- Keeping accounts of all transactions involving the property
- Determining if the principal has a will and what the contents are
- Using the principal’s assets to cover the expenses related to their care and support
- Consulting with supportive family members and friends regarding important decisions
If you breach any of your duties, you will become liable for the consequential damages. You may need to compensate the principal or the beneficiaries of the grantor’s estate if you fail to handle your obligations properly.
If you are appointed as an agent of your parents’ POA, you do not have to take on your parents’ debts on yourself. As long as your parents are alive, they are the ones responsible for the money they owe. Once they become incapacitated, you—as the agent—will need to pay the debts using your parents’ assets and not your own money.
A power of attorney document ends when your parents pass away. In that situation, the administrator of the estate is the one who is in charge of paying any debts.
While you won’t have to return the money your parents owe, note that your inheritance might be affected by their debts.
Normally, the agent is not responsible for any debts when the principal passes away, but there are a few exceptions. Take a look at the table below for more information:
|The Agent Is Responsible for Debts if They:||Brief Explanation|
|Were a co-signer of a loan||If the agent co-signed a loan or jointly took one out, they are in charge of the outstanding balance. When the principal passes away, the debt is still valid and needs to be paid|
|Hold a joint account with the principal||When both the agent’s and the principal’s names are on an account application, the debt must be paid even if one of the parties passes away|
|Were married to the principal and live in a community property state||In some states, spouses have equal responsibility for debts. These are the states where the surviving spouse needs to pay for the deceased spouse’s debts:
|Are the administrator of the deceased principal’s estate||If the agent is also the administrator of the estate, they are obligated to cover the principal’s debts|
Now that you’ve seen that a POA can protect your interests, you can create the document fast and without trouble using DoNotPay!
Once you decide that you want to make a power of attorney, you should turn to DoNotPay for help. If you use our app, you won’t need to spend a small fortune on a lawyer. We can provide you with a POA letter suited to your needs and requirements.
You only need to follow these instructions:
- Sign up for DoNotPay in your favorite web browser
- Type in Power of Attorney in the search bar
- Inform us what powers you wish to include in your POA
Our app will make sure you get two additional notices with information that you will find useful.
While you are filling out the POA form in our app, let us know that you want to get it notarized. We will match you with an online notary in no time!
DoNotPay can not only help you create a POA, but we can also provide you with valuable information regarding this document. With us, you can learn all about different types of powers of attorney, including:
- General POA—Allows the agent to make decisions in the principal’s stead until the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. It is normally used when the principal is out of the state for a while and can’t take care of certain tasks on their own
- Durable POA—Comes into effect the moment the document is signed and gives the agent the powers even when the principal becomes incapacitated
- Limited POA—Grants limited authorization or permits the attorney-in-fact to have powers during a limited period
- Springing POA—Ensures that the agent gets the powers once the principal becomes incapacitated
- Financial POA—Allows the agent to be in charge of the principal’s financial matters, such as taxes, mortgage, or paychecks
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