Are There Any Risks Associated with Granting Power of Attorney?

Are There Any Risks Associated with Granting Power of Attorney?

Power of attorney is a designation you provide to a chosen person (your agent) to make certain decisions on your behalf, generally related to finances or healthcare. It is an element of any strong estate plan to ensure your wishes are followed in the event of your incapacitation.

But are there any risks associated with granting someone else this power?

What you should know when making your power of attorney decision

It is understandable for people to be nervous about giving someone the power to make important financial or healthcare decisions on their behalf. There can be some risks associated with granting this power.

An agent might attempt to overexert his or her authority, which can be problematic. There’s also the risk that you provide powers that are too broad in scope, which could allow for problems such as the sale of a piece of property without your knowing consent, or the operation of a business in a manner you would not approve. You can hold an agent accountable for actions outside the scope of their duties, but if the granted powers were too broad it can be difficult to prove they were guilty of wrongful conduct. It becomes especially problematic when you consider the relatively small amount of oversight for powers of attorney.

This is why it’s important to work with a skilled attorney experienced in preparing powers of attorney. An experienced professional will know exactly how to articulate the powers an agent has and does not have. It is also crucial you are careful in your selection of who will handle the role of agent—it must be someone in whom you can completely trust to operate in your best interests.

For more information about powers of attorney, contact an experienced Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.