New York Attorney-In-Fact
Most people are not entirely clear on what an Attorney-in-Fact is. When a person creates a Durable Power of Attorney, an Attorney-in-Fact will be appointed to act on behalf of another person (known as the principal). The power conveyed to the Attorney-in-Fact may be for a specified period of time, or for a special purpose. Attorneys-in-Fact are often used when a business owner, for example, will not be available for a time, perhaps due to travel or illness. This duty carries with it a tremendous amount of responsibility, and great care should be exercised in choosing a person to serve in this position. An Attorney-in-Fact may also be appointed via a durable power of attorney for health care. In this case the Attorney-in-Fact would be appointed to make health care decisions on behalf of the principal in the event they become incapacitated.
Serving as an Attorney-in-Fact creates a fiduciary relationship with the principal. This relationship requires the Attorney-in-Fact to take reasonable care and caution in managing the affairs of the principal. The Attorney-In-Fact has a high degree of discretion in managing the affairs of the principal. As such, it is important that great care is taken in choosing who will be appointed. Qualities such as honestly, trustworthiness and business experience can be important. If the Attorney-in-Fact possesses any special expertise they have an obligation to use these skills. The Attorney-in-Fact should keep meticulous business records, not only for the benefit of the principal, but to document and protect their interests as well.
A New York Estate Attorney can also explain to you that fiduciary litigation is becoming more and more common in New York. There can be allegations of mismanagement of the estate, theft or fraud. Disgruntled family members can come forward and accuse an Attorney-in-Fact of self-dealing, failing to make distributions or having a conflict of interest for instance. These allegations can escalate into what is known as a fiduciary removal proceeding. If you are involved in a fiduciary litigation matter, it is wise to seek the advice of a qualified New York Attorney-in-Fact Lawyer, as these cases can be extremely complex.
Estate Planning is a complicated area of law and can include a wide array of subject matters, from Trust Reformation, Will Drafting, to Elder Law and Probate Litigation. Having legal guidance through the process is essential for a great outcome. Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC have qualified counsel ready to lend you guidance as well as a free case consultation. Contact us for an appointment at 800.696.9529 today. We have locations throughout the New York area, from New York City Manhattan Brooklyn Bronx Queens Staten Island to Long Island in both Nassau County and Suffolk County and Westchester County.