Most of the time, the individual you designate as your agent will not be liable for your debts when you pass away. If you co-signed a loan or applied for it together, each of you is responsible for the outstanding balance. In most cases, the agent cannot be held accountable for a civil action if they make health decisions on behalf of the grantor in good faith. However, if a neglect or omission of basic health standards is revealed, the agent will be responsible for the deterioration of the grantor's medical fitness.
A power of attorney does not directly give the agent permission to make health care decisions on behalf of the grantor. To avoid this personal liability, if you sign any document as an agent under a durable power of attorney from another person, always add the initials “P. A.” after your signature. This will help to protect you from any potential legal action that may arise from your actions as an agent.
When someone creates a power of attorney (POA) and appoints them as an agent (sometimes also called a de law attorney), they should not be held accountable for that person's debts or other financial issues, unless those difficulties are the result of dishonest or blatantly irresponsible acts on their part. In fact, relinquishing power could create problems for the elderly person in a nursing home, who may no longer have the capacity to make their own decisions and would no longer have a person capable of making decisions on their behalf. Durable powers of attorney are strictly interpreted by courts and agents should note that they do not exceed the power of attorney authorized by the document. The legal heir may not agree with the mode of execution used by the agent or may not want to comply with the grantor's wishes, in the case of a durable power of attorney.
In general, an agent with a durable power of attorney acts as a trustee and must observe the standard of diligence applicable to trustees. As long as you are scrupulously honest, careful with the person's money and faithful to the instructions given to you in the power of attorney document, you run little legal risk when you agree to act as an agent for the person who does the POA (what is called principal). It is important to understand that being appointed as an agent under a durable power of attorney does not automatically make one liable for any debts or other financial obligations that may arise from acting on behalf of another person. However, it is important to understand that there are potential liabilities associated with being an agent under a durable power of attorney and it is important to take steps to protect oneself from any potential legal action that may arise from one's actions as an agent.
In my opinion, having a durable power of attorney is one of the most important legal documents one can have in life. It is essential that agents understand their responsibilities and take steps to protect themselves from any potential liabilities associated with acting on behalf of another person.