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Why choose different agents with powers of attorney?

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2021 | Elder Law |

When you create a power of attorney, you pick an agent who is authorized to make decisions if you cannot do so. This is typically done with a financial or legal power of attorney and a medical power of attorney. The former does things like paying taxes or accessing bank accounts, while the latter handles medical decisions like deciding what type of care you get.

You can pick just one person if you want, but there are some good reasons to choose multiple people. For instance, you never know who will be available when needed and what the future will look like. It is hard to predict when these powers of attorney will be needed.

Considering each agent’s abilities

Furthermore, you want to consider the specific abilities and attitudes of each of these agents. For instance, medical decisions may require a great deal of emotional distress and not everyone will feel that they are the best person for the task under these circumstances. You need someone who thrives under pressure and who is willing to set their feelings aside and do what is best — and what you would have wanted — even when that may be hard.

On the other hand, an agent for a financial power of attorney needs to have a good grasp of their own finances and they need to understand how to carry out these complex actions without assistance, using accounts and details they’re not familiar with. They also need to know how to talk to the IRS, authorities at financial institutions and others in complex positions. This is simply not for everyone. Even with the best of intentions, someone may find these things beyond their abilities, while someone else may know that they can make everything go smoothly.

In short, you want to pick the right agent, and that does not always mean picking the same person. The tasks are very different and they must be able and willing to do what is required.

Getting it all set up

Once you decide who you want to pick and talk with them about this selection, then it is time to get your plan officially established. It’s crucial that you know exactly what steps to take and what this will require.