Lord Acton, Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton (April 5, 1887)

“Let every eye negotiate for itself, And trust no agent.”
Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-1599)

I. What are they?

“A power of attorney is an instrument in writing authorizing another to act as one’s agent. The agent holding the power of attorney is termed an ‘attorney in fact’ as distinguished from an attorney at law.”

1 An “elderly” estate planner has the opportunity to know his clients for many, many years, having perhaps attended baptisms, weddings and funerals. As a result, when the question of “advance directives” or powers of attorney comes up, the client may be expecting some very personal service at a crucial time in their lives. Who’s going to take care of things? Who’s going to determine they’re nuts? Who’s going to “pull the plug”? …

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