Since you have been named to help Tom make decisions for himself, you now have a confidential relationship with him. As Tom’s supporter, you should be diligent, trustworthy, honest, and act in good faith. You must exercise the authority in the supported decision-making agreement for his benefit, not yours. It does not matter if you are a family member or not.
The role of supporter carries with it responsibilities. When you act as a supporter for Tom, you have four basic responsibilities:
- Act only in Tom’s best interest.
- Help Tom make good decisions.
- Keep Tom’s personal information private.
- Help Tom communicate his decisions as necessary.
Others may be authorized to act on Tom’s behalf.
In your role as supporter, you may act as or deal with other people who are authorized to act on Tom’s behalf. These may include:
Trustees under a trust: someone names them to manage money and property.
Representative payees or, for veterans, VA fiduciaries: a government agency names them to manage government money that is paid to someone.
Agents under a power of attorney: someone names an agent to manage their money and property in case they are not able to do it.
Guardians: a court names them to manage money and property for someone who needs help.
Check out the other guides in this toolkit for information explaining the duties of these people.