Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, September 20, 2010

South Carolina Finds Attorney for Agent Owes No Duty to Principal

South Carolina Lewis Argoe, Mrs. Argoe’s son and attorney-in-fact, hired attorney James Walsh to transfer ownership of Mrs. Argoe’s condominium to a trust in order to protect her from her own irresponsible financial behaviors. Mrs. Argoe sued Mr. Walsh, claiming that he breached his duties to her by transferring title of her property to the trust without her knowledge.

The Supreme Court of South Carolina affirmed the lower court’s decision, holding that Mr. Walsh represented Lewis, not Mrs. Argoe, and that he owed her no duties. The Court stated that "[t]he fact that an infirm principal of a durable power of attorney does not appreciate an action taken by an attorney-in-fact does not create liability for the attorney facilitating a transaction that is called into question."

Attorney for Attorney-in-Fact Owes no Duty to Principal of POA, ElderLawAnswers, Aug. 3, 2010. See Argoe v. Three Rivers Behavioral Center (S.C., No. 26844, July 26, 2010).


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