Can I pay my health care agent for overseeing my wishes?

Related Ads

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small

Question:

I want to give the person I have named as my agent in my durable power of attorney for health care compensation of $1,000 for doing the job. How can I arrange this?

Answer:

Paying your health care agent (or "attorney-in-fact" in some states) could spell trouble from a legal standpoint. Many laws governing health care directives state that the agent cannot have a monetary interest in the patient's care, so courts would likely look askance on the validity of the health care document if it involves a payoff. (This is different from a financial power of attorney, under which an agent may legally be compensated.)

You cannot leave a conditional gift in your will, either, such as: $1,000 to John Jones if he serves as my health care agent. And remember that the will kicks in only after a death -- and health care agents may serve during a serious illness or injury, after which you recover and live in fine fettle.

Your only options are to leave a bequest of money in a will and know that it will be distributed if and only when you die. Or you could set aside the money and explain in a letter attached to the health care document that you want the health care agent to get the money if he or she should have to act on your behalf.

Create Your Estate Plan

Get Started with Quicken WillMaker Plus!

Everything you need to create a complete estate plan:

  • Write a legally valid will
  • Avoid probate with Nolo's Living Trust
  • Create a health care directive
  • Create a durable power of attorney
  • Prepare executor documents
  • Save on attorneys fees

Find an Estate Planning Lawyer

Related Ads
LA-NOLO4:DRU1.6.5.2.20150504.32030