Signing A Power of Attorney Without Sparking A Feud

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Signing A Power of Attorney Without Sparking A Feud

P.O.A estate deed needs to be properly signed for validity. A wrongly signed estate plan might result in feud and confusion of duties and the identity of the principal and the agent or proxy. This confusion may force the surrogate courts in NY to term the P.O.A deed as invalid for it fails to communicate for itself. What is the proper way of signing the P.O.A deed? The acceptable way of signing a P.O.A as agent is by signing a complete legal name of the grantor first then followed with; “by” then now follows yours. You can also indicate your position as “agent” by indicating it after your name. This way, it is clear that you’re the agent in P.O.A who acts for a principal whose name comes before yours.  

Who Has the Authority to Sign to Sign the P.O.A Agent

The person who can sign on the sections of an agent in a P.O.A is the agent specifically. For this reason, a principal is only required to have only one agent. The agent may have subagents who may assist in some duties in case the main agent is away, but they can never take part in signing the POA estate deed.

What to Overlook Before Signing A P.O.A

Before going to a meeting and signing as an agent, you need a copy of the P.O.A document. You can call before the meeting to inquire about the requirement of any forms for your identification, like an ID card or driver’s license. When signing the forms, ensure to follow the format accepted by that particular organization as the formatting requirements for signing a POA differs from one organization to another.

You may consider consulting an estate lawyer in case you have any questions or doubts.  When signing the POA you should ensure that you indicate that you are acting on behalf of the principal. Before signing on behalf of the principal you should ensure that they are in their correct state of mind and in no time will they deny giving you authority for signing a POA for them. As it may be considered forgery if they deny giving the consent. Ensure to read the form keenly to understand its content clearly and ask for clarifications where necessary.  

Common Feuds That Have Been Witnessed by Elder Law Attorneys Are;

Questioning of both the validity of the power of attorney and the agent’s actions.

Some family members may accuse your agent of taking advantage of your condition and this may lead the agent to face legal questioning.

Sibling rivalry.

 The elder siblings may end up questioning everything that the appointed agent does even some minor details may spark an argument.

Unwillingness to follow the principal’s wishes.

When your chosen agent makes decisions that are not in line with your wishes or what you had stated in the power of attorney, the agent may be sued for abusing the power of attorney.

Financial feuds.

The family member may accuse the agent of mishandling the assets especially when they notice they are receiving less amount than the one they had anticipated from the inheritance.

FAQS

Can one consider an abuse of power of att0rney as a crime?

 Power of attorney is a legal deed that gives a third-party authority to act on your behalf as your agent and you the principal. Its abuse leads to prosecution.

What is an abuse of POA?

 Abuse of POA is the misuse of the power given by a principle by making a decision that may not be in the principle’s best interest.

What penalties do agents receive for abuse of POA?

The surrogate court in NY has provisions for penalties in case an agent is sued and found guilty for abuse of power given to them by a principal. The agent may pay damages to the principal or family, then they may be demoted as an agent from the POA contract by revoking it.

Are agents allowed to delegate duties?

 Agents are not allowed to delegate duties unless stated in the P.O.A form.

What next after signing the POA agent?

After signing the POA as an agent, it means you’re position before the law is like the principal. Decisions you make are lawfully binding.

Are witnesses necessary when signing a POA deed?

Having at least two or three people who are not part of the POA as principal or agent whatsoever, is important for them to act as witnesses and confirm the identity of the participants also to ensure the process is a success.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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