Liabilities Toward the Holder of a Power of Attorney


A properly drafted, notarized, and witnessed legal document, a Power of Attorney is signed between individuals to grant an agent (designated person) authority in making medical, financial, and other types of decisions on a principal’s behalf, when and as specified in the agreement. The principal is the one enabling the responsibilities while the individual or entity being given authorization in carrying out specified duties is known as the agent.

In the United Arab Emirates, the execution of a power of attorney is only carried out if it has undergone the legalization process. A POA will allow an agent in taking financial decisions upon the demise of the grantor or under a condition that is set in the legal document. The selected agent, therefore, has the legal responsibility in implementing the directives of the grantor or principal in accordance to his or her wishes. If the duties are not being executed, the POA can be used as evidence during the litigation process for the authorized person.

Here is a much closer look at an agent’s liabilities in relation to a power of attorney:

Misuse of Health Care Power of Attorney

POAs don’t directly grant agents consent in creating a health care decision on a grantor’s behalf. An additional document has to be attached to the power of attorney, which is known as a personal directive. The personal directive will ensure an authorized person can create health care decisions in the event that the grantor is not able to himself. The problem with this is it exposes the agent and the grantor to further liabilities down the line.

In most cases, an authorized person won’t be held liable to civil action when a health care decision is done in good faith for the principal. If omission of basic health care standards or negligence is revealed, an agent will be accountable as to why the medical fitness of the principal has declined.

Potential Conflict

Assignment of a power of attorney may invite potential conflict especially if the agent is not one of the beneficiaries of the grantor. The legal heir can oppose to the implementation of the power of attorney or may not comply with the wishes of the grantor, if the power of attorney is enduring.

There are many POAs that assign more than one agent, which most definitely leads to disagreements and conflicts between the agents later on. Consulting a legal drafting lawyer in Dubai will help in mitigating conflicts and set out a method for resolution that is both effective and convenient for the parties involved.

Financial Abuse

A power of attorney may be assigned in the following ways: ordinary and enduring. For an ordinary power of attorney, it will remain valid so long as the grantor or principal is alive or capable of providing instructions to an agent. As for an enduring power of attorney, it will only continue to be legally binding and valid even after the principal becomes frail mentally.

Hence, the assignment of a power of attorney can leave the assets of the grantor, including capital and property, vulnerable for misuse, most especially if the agent is not a family member. In order to make sure the wishes of the principal are being implemented correctly, it’s critical to have an inclusive POA drafted with the guidance of a lawyer in Dubai.

An experienced legal drafting lawyer in Dubai will be able to help in ensuring all necessary provisions are included in the power of attorney. This may or may not include payment of certain amount to the agent, which can reduce the risk for obligatory tabulation or financial abuse. The compensation to the agent prevents litigation in the near future when resources of the grantor are used by the agent for necessary expenses in relation to the implementation or execution of the power of attorney.

Being assigned and designating a power of attorney is a very complicated process and responsibility. If it is not carried forth properly, it will most definitely lead to litigation not just for the agent but for the principal as well. Consulting with a skilled legal drafting team in Dubai will help provide an understanding of the liabilities of a power of attorney better.

How can a power of attorney minimize risks for parties involved?

First, it is not recommended to do anything with the assets of the grantor for the benefit or use of the agent. Additionally, the personal assets of the agent must never commingle with the assets that are being entrusted by the principal. This can give massive headaches to parties involved even when nothing wrong was done. It is not recommended to co-sign loans for a principal as it is more dangerous than commingling assets and funds. Also, you have to ensure a lawyer in Dubai is hired for the drafting of a power of attorney.

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