If I Have a Power of Attorney Can I File Bankruptcy for Someone Else?

A Power of Attorney is a unique document that states certain transactions can be carried out by a designated party on behalf of a loved one.  Such documentation may be drawn up when a hospitalization occurs or when a person is unable to complete certain tasks.  So if you have Power of Attorney for the debtor, can you file bankruptcy on their behalf?

Power of Attorney documents allow for specific transactions to be carried out on behalf of another person.  These transactions often include insurance, property, banking etc.  The key in whether or not you can file bankruptcy for the debtor is if the action is included in the list of transactions allowed.  The bankruptcy court may not review a case filed by the Power of Attorney if Power of Attorney documents do not clearly state bankruptcy filings and related matter can be completed on the debtor’s behalf.

The status of your Power of Attorney documentation may give you an idea on whether or not bankruptcy can be filed.  If you are in the process of having Power of Attorney documentation drawn up and it’s possible the debtor may seek bankruptcy in the future, you’ll want to make sure the proper language is stated.  Basically, you want to include bankruptcy filing or something along that nature in the documents stating it is a transaction that can be completed by you.

New Power of Attorney documents can be drawn up if existing documents do not state bankruptcy can be filed by another party.  The debtor may need to be present if Power of Attorney documents do not state bankruptcy can be filed.  Contact a bankruptcy attorney to review your options.