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Is a Power of Attorney Liable for Debts?

Updated February 21, 2017

Usually a power of attorney is not responsible for the principal's debt. Only if the debts are caused by the power of attorney's grossly irresponsible acts can the power of attorney be held liable, according to Nolo.

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Following Instructions

Generally, if the power of attorney follows instructions given by the principal, there is little legal risk involved, according to Nolo. Only when the power of attorney strays from the principal's instructions and wishes does he have a risk of liability.

Death of Principal

Upon death of the principal, the power of attorney is relieved of all duties to the principal's instructions and of all legal liabilities. This includes the principal's debt, according to Nolo.

Joint Responsibility

Power of attorney is not responsible for the principal's debts, unless she previously shared joint responsibility for debts. In this case, the power of attorney will more than likely have to pay the debts, according to Nolo.

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About the Author

Le Bach Pham has been writing professionally since 2002 and currently writes articles for various websites. He served as an editor for "The Mesa Press" and graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.

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