From time to time a prospective client will ask if they can file a bankruptcy case on behalf of a disabled relative, or a family member who is incarcerated. The answer to this question depends upon whether the person who is proposed to be the Debtor in the bankruptcy case has previously executed a valid Limited Durable Power of Attorney which specifically states that the Attorney in Fact ( the designee to act on behalf of the signor of the power of attorney) can proceed to file a bankruptcy petition, appear at court, and take all other action necessary to prosecute the bankruptcy case.
A "limited" power of attorney grants permission to a third party to act on a person's behalf to perform a specific task or tasks which are spelled out in the document. The "tasks," of course must be lawful. A "durable" power of attorney is one which will still be effective if the person who signs the power of attorney becomes mentally incompetent, or under some other disability that prevents the person from revoking the power of attorney.
Once a Limited Durable Power of Attorney is executed by a person, the Attorney in Fact ( the "designee" under the document who is authorized to act on behalf of the signor of the power of attorney) can take the legal action set out under the Limited Durable Power of Attorney. This can include the filing of a bankruptcy case on behalf of the Signor of the power of attorney. It can also authorize the Attorney in Fact to appear at Court and to testify to the financial information involved with the bankruptcy case filing.
If you need assistance with a Limited Durable Power of Attorney in connection with a bankruptcy case, CALL ME, I'll BE there for you. -Kevin Ryan, Attorney at Law