Does Power of Attorney Make You Liable?

In this episode of Berry’s Bites, Chris Berry answers the question: If I am the Financial and Medical Power of Attorney and sign papers admitting someone to the hospital or an assisted care facility, am I liable to pay those bills personally?


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Episode Transcript:


If I am the financial and medical power of attorney and signed papers admitting someone to the hospital or an assisted living facility am I liable to pay those bills personally?

Good question here so you’ve signed on as a financial and medical power of attorney and the big thing here is kind of just generalizing but you owe what’s called a fiduciary duty to act on the person’s best behalf so the key thing here is when you sign any papers don’t just sign it with your name but you would want to sign a lot of times what we recommend especially with the financial power of attorney.

Whenever you sign as a financial power of attorney so you’d kind of do your signature and then next to it we recommend either like p away so like let’s say you’re signing it for your mom it would be your mom’s check you would sign it but then write poa or the other thing is agents in fact is kind of the more technical term you’re acting as an agent for them so you’re not signing on individually you’re acting as an agent for them.

This used to really be a big issue where hospitals and assisted living and nursing homes would almost trick the kids or the loved ones into being like co-signers on the data or the loans or the cost of whatever it was but there’s been a lot of pushback and a lot of people have kind of called the nursing homes out on this so if you are signing anything just make sure you put like poa or agent in fact next to it and then you’re signing as their agent you’re not signing as an individual.

So kind of technical but as long as you put poa or agent and fax next to your signature then you’re not going to be individually the one on the hook it’s going to be whoever the person you’re signing for but that’s going to protect your liability so hopefully that was helpful.


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