Through a power of attorney, competent adults in Florida can appoint an attorney-in-fact who will represent their interests. People appointed as an attorney-in-fact should take the time to consider what this appointment means for them. Most powers of attorney cover financial or health care issues, though each document differs. Here are several commonly asked questions about becoming an attorney-in-fact in Port St Lucie Florida.
What will my responsibilities be?
That depends on the document. People who create powers of attorney, called principals, can delegate decision-making authority to an attorney-in-fact. The types of decisions they want their attorney-in-fact to make will differ, and will be spelled out in the power of attorney document. As an attorney-in-fact—also known as an agent—it will be your responsibility to read this document so you can understand what will be expected of you if you choose to serve.
In any case, you must always serve the principal’s best interest when you act as attorney-in-fact. As an agent, you will have a legal responsibility to protect the principal and make decisions that serve his or her best interests. If you abuse your position to take advantage of the principal, or to better your own interests at the principal’s expense, you could be held personally liable for the harm you cause.
Do I have to serve as an attorney-in-fact?
No. You cannot be compelled to serve as anyone’s agent. If you choose to accept the appointment as an attorney-in-fact in Port St Lucie Florida you must be willing and capable to carry out the duties asked of you. If you accept and later decide to resign, you must follow the procedure outlined in the power of attorney document. If no such procedures outlined, you must contact the principal and notify him or her of your resignation.
What if I’m not an attorney? Can I still be an attorney-in-fact in Port St Lucie Florida?
Even though it’s somewhat confusing, the term “attorney-in-fact” has nothing to do with lawyers. Any capable adult can become an attorney-in-fact in Florida. You do not have to be a licensed attorney or have any familiarity with the law. You also do not gain the right to represent yourself as a lawyer if you are named as an attorney-in-fact. Being named as an attorney-in-fact simply gives you the ability to represent the principal’s interests.
Can I be fired from my position?
Yes. As long as the principal remains mentally competent, he or she can fire you from your job as attorney-in-fact. The principal can do this at any time and for any reason. Your ability to make decisions on the principal’s behalf as attorney-in-fact will automatically terminate once you learn that the principal has fired you.