This article examines the importance of understanding agent duties and conflicts of interest, both for drafting a power of attorney that meets a principal's objectives and for providing guidance to the agent who will act under its authority. Professor Whitton suggests that current custom and practice with respect to powers of attorney often overlooks the need to adjust agent duties to accommodate the principal's expectations, thus resulting in inadvertent conflicts between the duty to do what the principal expects and default duties of loyalty. The article offers practical guidelines for identifying and reconciling these conflicts, as well as best practices to improve the agent's understanding of the authority granted in the power of attorney, the principal's expectations for exercise of that authority, and the duties an agent must meet when carrying out the principal's expectations.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.