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Legal Dictionary

attorney-in-fact

Definition of attorney-in-fact

Noun

attorney-in-fact (plural attorneys-in-fact)

  1. (US) (law) An agent of the person giving him/her the power of attorney (for a specific purpose or for general purposes) to act on his/her behalf. The attorney-in-fact's power and responsibilities depend on the specific powers granted in the power of attorney document.

Further reading

The term attorney-in-fact is commonly used in the United States, to make a distinction from the term Attorney at law. An attorney-at-law in the United States is a lawyer-someone licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction.

In most other common law jurisdictions, lawyers are not called attorneys. In those jurisdictions the term "attorney" is used instead of "attorney-in-fact".

As an agent, an attorney-in-fact is a fiduciary for the principal, so the law requires an attorney-in-fact to be completely honest with and loyal to the principal in their dealings with each other. If the attorney-in-fact is being paid to act for the principal, the contract is usually separate from the power of attorney itself, so if that contract is in writing, it is a separate document, kept private between them, whereas the power of attorney is intended to be shown to various other people.

In the context of the unincorporated reciprocal inter-insurance exchange (URIE) the attorney-in-fact is a stakeholder/trustee who takes custody of the subscriber funds placed on deposit with him, and then uses those funds to pay insurance claims. When all the claims are paid, the attorney-in-fact then returns the leftover funds to the subscribers.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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