When you’re working on your estate plan, one of the questions you may have is how many people you should set up as your power of attorneys. You will need an agent with health care power of attorney and another with fiduciary power of attorney. You may want a general power of attorney instead of those, too.
What’s the difference? Your health care power of attorney gives an agent the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf. The financial power of attorney gives them control over your finances. A general power of attorney may give one person both of those powers.
How many people should you give power of attorney?
The reality is that you may need to choose more than one person for each of these roles. You may find that there is not a single person who can manage both your finances and health care.
At the very least, it’s normally a good idea to have two people selected for power of attorney. You can have someone you’d prefer for your general power of attorney and a backup in case they cannot take on the job when it’s time.
You may also decide to name two agents, one for finance and one for health care. Then, you could name additional individuals you’d prefer if those agent are unavailable.
Why is it a good idea to have backup choices for your agents?
It’s a good idea to have backup choices because people’s lives change, people may pass away or other factors may impact their ability to do the job. For example, if you select your spouse as your power of attorney and they pass away, then they won’t be able to do the job. If you’re unable to appoint someone new, then the court will do so for you.
If you’re ready to assign someone to be your power of attorney, it’s smart to know your legal rights, so you can do what’s best for your situation. Usually, choosing more than one person is a wise idea. The future can be uncertain, and you never know what might happen.