Why Read this Guide?

Like many people, you may never have been an agent under a power of attorney before. That's why we created Managing Someone Else's Money: Help for Agents Under a Power of Attorney. This Guide will help you understand what you can and cannot do in your role as an agent or an attorney-in-fact. In that role, you are a fiduciary. In this Guide, you'll find brief tips to help you avoid problems and resources for finding more information.

This Guide does not give you legal advice. Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about your duties. If you want to learn about making a power of attorney, this Guide is not designed for you. Talk to a lawyer, read other guides about making a power of attorney, visit the "Seniors and the Law" webpage of TexasLawHelp.org, or read Chapters 751 and 752 of the Texas Estates Code if you want to learn more about how to make a power of attorney.

How you might have become an agent

Your family member or friend is worried that she will not be able to pay her bills or make other decisions about her savings and her house. For this Guide, let’s call her Martina. Martina has signed a legal document called a statutory durable power of attorney

For simplicity’s sake, this legal document is referred to as her power of attorney. In this document, she named you as her agent and gave you broad power to make decisions about managing her money and property. Martina also made her power of attorney effective immediately, instead of after she gets too sick to pay her bills or make other decisions about her savings and her house.

The law gives you a lot of responsibility as Martina’s agent under her power of attorney. You may want to consider having an attorney help you manage this responsibility. You are now a fiduciary with fiduciary duties.