What does an attorney for property have to do?

1. Learn about the duties of an attorney

Being an attorney for property can last a long time. And it can be complicated, even if the person does not have a lot of money or property to take care of. For example, they may have a lot of and not enough money to pay them.

The law says that you're supposed to make decisions based on what's called a “standard of care”. This means using a certain amount of caution and skill when doing duties on the person's behalf.

If you're not being paid to be an attorney, the standard of care is the amount of care, diligence, and skill that an ordinary person would take when managing their own property.

If you're being paid, the standard of care is the amount of care, diligence, and skill that someone must take if they professionally manage other people's property. An example of this would be an investment manager.

Personal liability

As an attorney for property, you have what's called “personal liability”. This means that you must act in an honest, reasonable, and careful way. And if you don't, you may have to pay back any money the person loses because of decisions you made.

This does not mean that you're responsible for the person's debts if they don't have enough money to pay them. It means that you're responsible for what you do when you're managing the person's property.

If there’s more than one attorney

If the Power of Attorney says that two or more attorneys must agree on a decision, this is called acting jointly. This means that you cannot make decisions or do anything on your own.

If it says that attorneys can make decisions together or separately, this is called acting jointly and separately, or jointly and severally. This means that you or the other attorney can act on your own if necessary.

Decide if you want to take on the role

You need to decide if you have the time and the skills to be an attorney for property. If you agree and then change your mind, what you have to do depends on whether or not the person is .

If the person is capable

If the person is capable of making a , you can ask them to cancel the existing one and name someone else.

If the person is not capable

If the person is not capable of making a new Power of Attorney, you can resign. But before doing this, it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer.

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