Q: I have financial power of attorney for my mother. Can I be paid for managing her finances?
A: Dear Billing:
Serving as an agent under financial power of attorney (POA) can involve considerable work, so you’re typically permitted to be reimbursed for your expenses—and sometimes, even entitled to additional compensation.
However, all such payments greatly depend on the estate documents and your state’s laws. Many POA documents will clearly spell out what level of compensation you would be entitled to as an agent. If your POA doesn’t address compensation, most states allow for reimbursement of your expenses, such as tax preparation or accounting services.
Some states also allow for additional compensation, provided the payment is “reasonable” under the circumstances. But determining what’s reasonable is highly complex, so if you wish to get paid for anything beyond expenses, first consult with a Personal Family Lawyer®.
As your mother’s fiduciary, you’re required to always act in her best interests and can be held liable for violating this duty, even if you have good intentions. Given this, you should keep detailed records of all financial transactions—no matter how small—and seek professional advice if you’re uncertain about any expenditure.
A Personal Family Lawyer® can help you determine exactly what kind of payment your specific situation allows when you contact one.