Can you have more than one power of attorney?
If so, how many power of attorneys can you have?
In this article, you’ll learn about:
Let’s dig in.
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Yes, you can have more than one power of attorney.
But just because you can have more than one power of attorney doesn’t mean you should.
Most people get more than one power of attorney when planning for an older loved one.
You want to make sure that someone can make decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
You’d use a durable power of attorney when planning for an older loved one.
This is because a general power of attorney becomes void if someone becomes incapacitated.
And if you don’t give someone durable power of attorney, then they cannot:
A durable power of attorney is only voided when someone passes away.
It’s a good idea to set up a durable power of attorney when a loved one:
You can have more than one power of attorney so that:
This way, your spouse can make decisions on your behalf.
And if something happens to them, then the children can make decisions for you.
Just because you can have more than one power of attorney doesn’t mean you should.
A joint power of attorney can be good if one person gets ultimate decision-making power.
There is a common issue when more than one person has power of attorney.
They all have equal decision-making authority.
So, they can disagree on the decision they need to make on your behalf.
And a final decision may never get made because each POA can overrule the other.
Sometimes multiple power of attorneys cannot agree on a decision.
When this happens, they have to petition the court to make a decision.
You’d need to file this petition with the probate courts that are in the principal’s county.
The courts will review all of the estate planning documents.
And they will make a decision that’s in the best interest of the principal.
To resolve conflict down the road, the courts can also decide to:
Yes, more than one person can have power of attorney.
But how can you have more than one power of attorney?
This is good if you split out the responsibilities of the different power of attorneys.
For example, let’s say that you give:
In an example like this, you would give more than one person power of attorney.
And you’d make sure that they are good at what they are responsible for.
You wouldn’t want to give someone who is terrible at managing money your financial power of attorney.
But you may want to have them make medical decisions for you because you share religious beliefs.
The key here is that no one shares a responsibility.
They each have their own separate responsibilities to take care of on their own.
Yes, you can have two power of attorneys.
There are two scenarios where you can have two power of attorneys.
You can have two power of attorneys if you want to:
You can have unlimited power of attorneys.
There is no limit to how many power of attorneys you can have.
But it’s not advisable to have numerous power of attorneys.
The main issue is that all the power of attorneys will have equal decision-making power.
And someone can contest a decision made by another power of attorney.
When this happens, they will have to file a petition to the courts.
And the courts will have to settle the disagreement between the power of attorneys.
This is NOT what you want to happen if you’re in a serious scenario.
Think about if you get into a car accident and need life-saving medical treatment.
But your POAs cannot make a decision whether or not to approve the treatment.
So, they have to schedule a court hearing to let the courts make the decision.
In a scenario like this, you will most likely not get the treatment that you needed.
Yes, two siblings can have power of attorney.
This is common when a parent wants all of their children to have power of attorney.
They will give two siblings power of attorney.
And both siblings will have joint power of attorney.
But how do you handle power of attorney between siblings?
Related: Power Of Attorney vs Guardianship
You can set up power of attorney between siblings.
It’s common to share power of attorney between siblings if you want to:
You can have more than one power of attorney between siblings.
But you want to make sure that one has the final decision-making authority.
Or you want to split up the responsibilities for power of attorney between siblings.
For example, you can set it up where:
This way, they have their own responsibilities.
And there won’t be any legal disputes between them on important decisions.
A joint power of attorney is when a principal gives two people the same power of attorney.
The joint power of attorneys have the ability to either:
Let’s say that you give two people POA with a single power of attorney document.
Meaning that you have NOT created two separate power of attorneys documents to name your agents.
In this case, BOTH agents must agree upon the action they are taking.
For example, let’s say you gave two people joint power of attorney and you want them to sell your house.
To be able to sign the closing documents, the joint power of attorney papers need to be provided.
This shows the title company that the POAs are able to sign on your behalf.
And when the title company sees this POA paperwork, they will see there are two power of attorneys.
They will force BOTH power of attorneys to be present and sign the closing documents.
Related: Power Of Attorney vs Conservatorship
With a joint durable power of attorney, all agents must agree on the actions they are taking.
Your joint power of attorneys can only act if they are all in agreement.
If there’s paperwork to sign, they all have to sign.
If there’s a decision to make, they all have to agree on that decision.
You want a durable power of attorney so someone can make decisions if you are incapacitated.
You’d want a joint durable POA if you want multiple people to make decisions for you.
A durable power of attorney remains in effect even after the principal is incapacitated.
Usually aging parents will give their children joint durable power of attorney.
But you need to make sure that ALL the children can make the decisions you need them to.
Not legally, but emotionally.
In emergency situations, you need quick decisions to be made.
Having someone who is too nervous to make important decisions can delay those decisions.
If this happens, the courts may need to make the decision for you.
A power of attorney does not have responsibilities to siblings.
A power of attorney’s responsibilities are to the principal, not the siblings.
A principal will give a power of attorney specific directions for the actions they should take.
The sibling must follow those directions laid out by the principal.
Even if those actions go against what the other siblings want for the principal.
The agent must act in the principal’s best interest.
And the power of attorney does not have any responsibilities to the siblings.
What are the disadvantages of being a power of attorney?
There are disadvantages to being a power of attorney, such as you:
These disadvantages of being a power of attorney are important.
Let’s say that you forget to pay the mortgage on a house.
You could be personally liable for the late payments and fees associated with that.
If you make the wrong decisions, you could be sued by loved ones.
Let’s say that your principal was in an accident and you chose to give them medical treatment.
That medical treatment may go against their wishes.
In an event like this, you could get sued by the principal or loved ones.
Basically, the disadvantage of being a power of attorney is that you’re responsible for the decisions.
Related: Penalty For Stealing From An Estate
How can you have more than one power of attorney and it be reliable?
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