A power of attorney is a critical document that all people should have in place.  It is best to speak to an attorney to ensure that your power of attorney document matches your wishes. Include in the document at least one back-up or successor individual. Most online forms will not give a space for a successor.  Make sure that you add or create a location for naming your power of attorney successor.

The person you select needs to understand and agree to be your power of attorney or an agent.  It is a job that requires time and effort. It may not fit their personality or it may be overwhelming during the time you need their help.  Does the person live near you or are they some distance away? Dealing long distance with hospitals, banks, and other institutions is challenging.  You should identify more than one successors.

You need to have a conversation with the people you name as a successor.  Have a meal together and talk about what you want from them in their role as your agent.

Can people jointly be your power of attorney?  It is possible, but relationship dynamics between the co-agents is difficult to predict.  If you have joint power of attorney between 2 people, each one of the 2 people can unilaterally make a decision for you or both of the people need to agree on a decision.  Using co-agents needs careful consideration. Often one agent will make a decision without consulting/obtaining agreement from the other agent. This generally creates contention and discord over your care decisions. If both agents need to agree, what happens when they do not agree?

It is understandable that you may love each of your children and want them to be co-agents for you.  This may work out just fine. Or the relationship dynamic can create a family rift that results in legal actions to determine your care decisions.

It is recommended to work with an attorney to structure your power of attorney to meet your wishes.  If you choose to use an online form, makes sure you sign the form in an effective way for almost all circumstances.

December 30, 2018

Disclaimer: Note content of this blog post (“post”) is accurate as of the date of writing; laws change frequently and readers should not rely upon the online information.  The reader should seek the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from LRGrunzinger Law Office or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.