Selecting an Attorney in Fact

An attorney in fact is a special kind of agent nominated in a durable power of attorney to act on behalf of another person if they cannot act for themselves. Walnut Creek estate planning attorneys will advise that it is important to be prudent in selecting an attorney in fact.


The specific language of the durable power of attorney will explain the duties. Some attorneys in fact are given broad powers and others very limited. Most often, the primary purpose is to allow the financial and business operations of the principal to continue if they become temporarily incapacitated. In any case, an attorney in fact is looked on as a fiduciary under the law. As Walnut Creek estate planning attorneys can explain, a fiduciary relationship is one of utmost trust.


Here are some factors to consider when choosing an attorney in fact:

  • Where the person lives; if the individual lives across the country, it may be difficult for them to manage the principal’s affairs.
  • How busy is the person; do they have the time to devote if they are called on.
  • How organized they are; keeping track of all the paperwork of the principal plus their own can be difficult.
  • The business affairs of the principal; if there is some expertise or specialized knowledge required, the attorney in fact should be chosen accordingly.

Appointing an Alternate Attorney in Fact

It is considered good practice to select one or more people to serve as attorney in fact if the first choice is not available to serve when needed or declines for any reason.

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