We don’t want to think of a future where others may need to make important decisions on our behalf because we are incapacitated or otherwise incapable of making difficult choices because of injury or illness. However, it is smart to plan for such a possibility because you don’t want conflict or confusion to result in you being incapacitated while a difficult decision has to be made.
Those who are granted powers of attorney are typically our family members and loved ones, those who have our best interests at heart. The power of attorney agent is not automatically entitled to financial compensation for their services. However, when assigning power of attorney, financial compensation can be added to the document as part of the legal agreement.
What if the Power of Attorney Document Says Nothing of Payment?
In the event that the document makes no mention of payment for the power of attorney (POA) agent, then they are not entitled to any salary or fees for their services. If the document is silent on the matter of payment for services rendered, the only money the agent may expect to receive is any financial reimbursement for expenses paid while acting on the principal’s behalf.
An example might be if the POA agent must hire a lawyer for your benefit, then they may be legally allowed to request that they be reimbursed for expenses paid in your stead. It is recommended that you work in coordination with your attorney to ensure that all rights are protected and that no money or time is wasted.
What Types of Powers of Attorney Are Available in the State of GA?
In the state of Georgia, the two most common types of powers of attorney are the financial POA and the health care POA.
If you are too sick or hurt to make important decisions for yourself, a financial POA grants your agent the ability to handle your financial affairs and business matters.
If you are incapacitated and can’t make health care decisions, a health care POA can grant your agent the option to make medical decisions on your behalf, including end-of-life decisions. In Georgia, this is typically combined with a living will into a larger document, known as an advance health care directive.
What is the Georgia POA Statute?
In 2017, Georgia created the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). The key change included in the UPOAA is that it can force third parties like financial institutions to honor powers of attorney. Additionally, it provides better protection against agents misusing their powers of attorney and taking advantage of incapacitated principals.
Because the UPOAA is relatively new, it may be advisable to speak with an attorney about how its changes may affect you.