Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia
- How does a Power of Attorney Work?
- Can the Agent Abuse Their Power?
- Who Should I Make My Agent?
- When Does a Power of Attorney End?
- Can I Revoke a Power of Attorney?
A Georgia power of attorney allows you to designate a person, known as your Agent or attorney-in fact, to handle your financial affairs and make financial decisions on your behalf should you lose the ability to do so. A general power of attorney gives your agent broad legal authority over your affairs. A special power of attorney limits the powers of your agent to only a few situations.
How does a Power of Attorney Work?
There are two people, the Principal and the Agent. The Principal grants the power the Agent, who acts on the Principal’s behalf.
Typical powers granted to the Agent include the following:
- To transact any and every kind of business;
- To make, sign, and execute any contracts, deeds, checks, stock powers, and other writings;
- To act for the Principal with respect to any property owned by you at any time and any of the Principal’s rights or obligations;
The Agent should not use these powers unless the Principal explicitly authorizes them to do so or if the Principal is either physically or mentally incapacitated. The Agent is act on the Principal’s behalf when exercising the powers.
Can the Agent Abuse Their Power?
The Agent acts a fiduciary under Georgia law. It is one of the highest obligations under Georgia law. The fiduciary must act in the best interest of the beneficiary. In the context of a power of attorney, the Agent has a legal obligation to protect the assets of the Principal to the greatest degree possible. In all of these contexts, Georgia law requires specific duties to be performed and requires that the fiduciary be held to a high standard.
However, there is a recourse if the Agent does abuse their power and harms the interests of the Principal. The Principal can sue the Agent for Breach of Fiduciary Duty. If the Principal or Agent have any questions about their duties, contact an experienced attorney.
Who Should I Make My Agent?
Serving as an Agent is a high responsibility. We strongly suggest that your Agent be a person that you trust and whose interests are similar to yours. These typically include spouses, children, and close family members. Additionally, there are professionals who can take this responsibility.
When Does a Power of Attorney End?
A Power of Attorney remains in effect even if you become incapacitated or unable to communicate unless one of the following occur:
- A conservator is appointed to manage the property of the Principal.
- The Power of Attorney includes a date or specific occurrence, such as incapacity, that cancels the Power of Attorney.
- The Agent or Principal dies.
Can I Revoke a Power of Attorney?
Yes. To revoke a Power of Attorney, the Principal needs to write a date a letter revoking the Power of Attorney and deliver it to the Agent. Further, the Principal should submit copies of the letter revoking the Power of Attorney any institution where the Principal holds accounts or does any financial dealings covered by the Power of Attorney.
Contact Us to Talk to our Atlanta & Marietta, GA Power of Attorney Lawyers
A Georgia Power of Attorney is included in our estate planning package or we can draft one for you separately. We can make sure that your agent only has the powers you want them to have for the period of time that will best accomplish your goals.
Before creating, signing, or cancelling a Georgia Power of Attorney, we urge you to contact us.
If you have any questions or would like to get started, call our office at (404) 939-7562 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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