An attorney may only be compensated for acting as an attorney if the Power of Attorney expressly authorizes it and sets out the amount or the rate the attorney may charge.
The compensation must be expressly stated for example, x per year or x % of the gross value of the person’s estate. The amount of compensation cannot be determined by reference to an outside document for example, a standard rate charged by a trust company for power of attorney services. It can however be determined in a separate contract that the attorney signs with the donor.
Unless there is a specific provision the attorney cannot claim compensation based on a “quantum merit basis” which means they can’t be compensated based on the amount or value of the work they have performed.
Even without express authorization an attorney may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses that are properly incurred.
Deborah A. Todd