Legal Question in Administrative Law in Indiana

Advance Health Care Directive for Bi-Polar Patient Living Alone

I have a friend who I have recently become reaquainted with after both of us moved back to the same small town and she has been diagnosed with bi-polar disease 5 years ago. She is not a stable person and has recently been released from a psychiatric hospital. She no longer lives with her boyfriend, and is lucid enough to know that she needs someone to ''be in charge'' of her. She has asked me to be her power of attorney and she has asked me to have an Advance Health Care Directive made up for her and she will sign it. My hesitation is this: Am I legally responsible for any bad things she might do financially if I am her power of attorney? I do not want to be held liable if she should for some reason go charge all of her credit cards up. Other than that, I do not have hesitation in doing this--I just really need to make sure that no one can hold ME personally or legally responsible for any actioins she might take that are negative with me being her power of attorney. I really need an anser ASAP because she is not taking her meds and this would be a way that I can get her help...

Asked on 5/28/02, 4:22 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Advance Health Care Directive for Bi-Polar Patient Living Alone

You are responsible for conduct you perform yourself in your capacity as attorney in fact for your friend. You are not responsible for her conduct. And she is free to act, without regard to the power of attorney. A power of attorney does not give you the same authority that a court-appointed conservator or guardian would have. And from your last sentence - that she is not taking her medication and you hope the power of attorney would provide a way for you to get her help - it sounds to me like you are thinking about a conservatorship of the person. In any event, good luck.

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Answered on 5/28/02, 5:32 pm

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