I Am My Father’s Power of Attorney. Can I Do His Will for Him?
As your father’s power of attorney, you have very broad authority. However, it does not allow you to write a will for him. Anyone who is 18 years of age, and of sound mind, can make their own will. It is not something the testator (a person making a will) can delegate to anybody, including a power of attorney. The making of a will requires a private consultation between your father and his attorney. Neither you as the power of attorney nor any other potential beneficiary under his will should be present in that conference with the attorney. It is important that your father provides his attorney with his wishes and that there be no suggestion whatsoever of coercion by you or anyone else that your father may choose to benefit in his will. Such a conference and subsequent execution of the will outside your presence as power of attorney serves to protect your father and you in your role as power of attorney. As power of attorney you do not want your siblings, or other beneficiaries in your father’s Will, to allege that you exercised undue influence in regard to choices he makes in his Will.
In short, while you have broad authority as your father’s power of attorney, his testamentary wishes must be his own and cannot be provided or prepared by you as his power of attorney
Nicholas Giuditta is a trusts and estates attorney in Westfield. He prepares estate plans for high net worth individuals and regularly represents executors and administrators of estates. Find out how your family can benefit by contacting Mr. Giuditta at 908-232-0099 or visit his website atwww.giudittalaw.com.
The questions and answers by Nicholas A. Giuditta, III, of the Law Office of Nicholas A. Giuditta, III, provided herein are for general information purposes only. The information does not, nor is it intended to, constitute legal advice and is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Online readers should not act upon this information without discussing the particular facts of their matter with an attorney.