What if someone designates you in their POA as their agent?

If you are asked by a friend or relative to assume the role of agent, be aware of potential liability for any losses caused by your violations of Montana law, including any actions taken outside the authority given by the principal.

The principal decides what actions can be taken by you as the agent. These actions may include:

• Real property;

• Tangible personal property;

• Stocks and bonds;

• Commodities and options;

• Banks and other financial institutions;

• Operation of entity or business;

• Insurance and annuities;

• Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests;

• Claims and litigation;

• Personal and family maintenance;

• Benefits from government programs, civil or military service;

• Retirement plans; and

• Taxes. 

You are not permitted to write a will for a principal. Nor can use POA authority to directly represent the principal in court.  If you are found liable for breaching your fiduciary duties, you may be responsible for restoring the value, for repayment of attorney’s fees, and court costs. 

You may wish to seek legal advice if there are any parts of the principal’s POA and agent’s duties that you do not understand.  Matrium Law Group is a family law and estate planning law firm located in Missoula, Montana.  To discuss your situation, contact Matrium Law Group at (406) 552-7814 to speak with a licensed Montana attorney.