Essential Power of Attorney Responsibilities You Must Know

Create a Power of Attorney Essential Power of Attorney Responsibilities You Must Know

Power of Attorney Responsibilities Explained by DoNotPay

If you’re planning to get a power of attorney (POA) document, you need to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities it entails to avoid any confusion later on. POAs can be difficult to understand at first, but don’t worry—DoNotPay is here to assist!

Our article will explain the power of attorney responsibilities and show you how to get a personalized POA in no time.

Power of Attorney Duties—The Basics

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants one person (the agent) powers to act in another person’s (the principal’s) stead. The type of responsibilities an agent has depends on whether they signed a financial or medical power of attorney.


Financial Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney Agent

An agent that signed a financial POA needs to help the principal with the following responsibilities:

  • Filing taxes
  • Paying for health care, utility, and other bills
  • Making investments
  • Collecting debts
  • Managing their property
  • Applying for public benefits, such as Medicaid or veterans benefits

The Responsibilities of a Medical Power of Attorney Signee

If given the powers of a medical POA, the agent may have to decide:

  • In which hospital the principal will be staying and what kind of medical care and treatment they’ll receive
  • Which doctors and care providers will look after the principal
  • Who will bathe the principal if they’re unable to do it on their own
  • What the principal will eat
  • Where the principal will live (assisted living residence, memory care, or nursing home) if they’re unable to be taken care of at their home

How Long Does a Power of Attorney Stay in Effect?

The duration of the document depends on the type of power of attorney. The most common power of attorney types are:

Type of Power of Attorney Details
General POA A general POA allows the agent to act in the principal’s name on all matters as long as the state laws allow for it. The agreement ends automatically in case the principal becomes mentally incapable of making decisions for themselves
Durable POA In most states, a POA is considered durable unless stated otherwise. The responsibilities that an agent has must be clearly specified in the document. The agreement stays in effect even after the principal becomes physically or mentally incapacitated
Limited POA An attorney-in-fact who signed a limited POA has specified and limited powers over the activities proposed by the principal. This type of POA agreement lasts for a limited amount of time that should be noted in the document
Springing POA A springing POA comes into effect when one or more physicians determine that the principal is incapacitated. It lasts until it’s revoked or the principal dies

What Are the Statutory Duties of a Power of Attorney?

According to the law in most states, an agent has a fiduciary duty to the principal. This means that the attorney-in-fact has to:

  1. Act solely in the principal’s best interest
  2. Maintain accurate records and history of all principal’s financial transactions

In case the agent fails their job as a fiduciary, they may be prosecuted both civilly and criminally.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney Agent

If you want to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities that come with a POA, you should know the answers to some of the frequently asked questions, such as:

  1. What are the duties of a bank power of attorney?
  2. Which powers does a DMV attorney-in-fact have?
  3. Can an agent refuse to take on power of attorney responsibilities?

What Are the Duties of a Bank Power of Attorney?

Upon signing a bank power of attorney, the attorney-in-fact needs to:

  • Make deposits, transfers, and withdrawals from any of the principal’s accounts
  • Write, make, and endorse checks and drafts related to the principal’s bank
  • Open new checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, IRA’s, and other accounts in the principal’s name
  • Approve and authorize automatic withdrawals
  • Perform any activities that involve the principal’s bank accounts

Which Powers Does a DMV Attorney-in-Fact Have?

A DMV attorney-in-fact can make decisions regarding the principal’s motor vehicles, such as:

  • Applying for and receiving new registration
  • Receiving a certificate of title
  • Transferring ownership
  • Recording or releasing a lien
  • Applying for and receiving a copy of a motor vehicle record

Can an Agent Refuse To Take On Power of Attorney Responsibilities?

Being an agent is not an obligation, so you can refuse to take on POA-related responsibilities. Anyone who wants to be appointed as an attorney-in-fact needs to consider whether they’re available and ready for that sort of duty before signing the POA document.

How To Draft a Durable Power of Attorney Like a Pro With DoNotPay

Need a durable power of attorney document but don’t want to write it yourself or hire expensive lawyers to do it for you? DoNotPay has a solution! We’ll draft a professional POA for you in a matter of minutes, and all you have to do is:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Specify the powers you want to give to your agent
  3. Answer a few simple questions

If you live in a state where you’re required to get your POA notarized by law, DoNotPay can set up an appointment with an online notary in your stead. All you need to do is inform us that you need a notary’s signature while completing the above-mentioned questionnaire, and we’ll help you get the notarization process started in no time!

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