What is Attorney in Fact? Meaning and Definition of Attorney in Fact

The attorney-in-fact is an individual who performs different tasks on behalf of any other company or principal. The tasks may be business-related, financial, and maybe medical. There is a document called the power of attorney which designates and gives the authority to the attorney in fact to act.

Now, let’s talk about what it takes to complete the formalities to become the attorney in fact. So, it requires a general or special power of attorney form depending on the type of power of attorney that the principal wants you to be. The different types of POA’s have different authorities and grants. The principal can appoint anyone including the family members as the attorney in fact as long as the document is signed. It is not necessary that the attorney in fact/agent in fact needs to be a practicing attorney.

The Duties and Authorities of a Designated Agent:

The power of attorney comes into action when the principal is not able or do not want to manage his/her financial, medical, and other kinds of activities. Then the principal decides to select a power of attorney to manage his/her day to day life and transactions. This document gives the attorney in fact the full or limited power to manage things. This depends on the deed created by the principal. If the principal wants to make a general power of attorney contract then it means that the agent can pay the bills, withdraw cash, trade stocks, manage your medical expenses, cash checks, withdraw fund, end your policies, sell assets, open & close bank accounts, buy & sell properties, and everything that the principal has the power to do. After this all, if any loss occurs or if any mistake is made then the principal is completely liable for that and not the agent.

If the principal decides to make a special power of attorney then the agent in fact has limited access to things. For example, if the principal decided to make a medical and healthcare power of attorney then the agent only has the power to manage the medical and healthcare expenses of the principal. So, in this way, the special power of attorney is better than the general if the principal is assigning a professional agent. If the principal wants to make a general attorney in fact then he/she go for his family members or a well-reputed professional as the agent.

There are some duties that every designated agent should perform for the principal:

  • They should make the decisions wisely that bring profits to the principal instead of losses
  • They should increase and purchase the assets instead of selling them
  • They should not ignore important things and make such decisions which are in the interest of the principal
  • The agent is responsible for carrying the powers according to the agent’s wishes and with complete honesty

So, these were some attorney in fact responsibilities, duties, and powers. These few things should be kept in mind by both the agent and the principal before signing as attorney in fact and power of attorney. There is not any particular attorney in fact form, the attorney in fact signature is signed on the power of attorney form.