If you are working on your estate plan, something to consider is setting up your powers of attorney. It is normal to set up more than one POA, even though many people think of a power of attorney as a single legal document.
There are a number of different powers of attorney, actually. These include:
- Durable power of attorney
- Springing power of attorney
- Financial power of attorney
- Medical or health care power of attorney
- General power of attorney
- Limited or special power of attorney
Most people set up a healthcare power of attorney along with a financial power of attorney.
Why is it important to have more than one kind of POA?
Frankly, one person may have trouble performing all the tasks assigned to them if they’re trying to fulfill the roles of multiple powers of attorney. You may find that some people are better suited to handling finances rather than your healthcare needs, for example, and assign them a role that fits.
Can you select more than one person for each role?
While it’s normal for only one person to carry out the role at one time, you may want to assign more than one person to each role in case the first person you choose passes away or decides to decline the position.
For example, you may want your sister to be your financial power of attorney, but she may decide that she’s too busy to handle that responsibility. If you set your brother as a backup, then he may be able to step into that role instead.
You can have as many people as your agents as you’d like. The more people you select, the more likely it is that you’ll run into disputes and feuds, though. With that in mind, it’s normally best to have just a single agent for each kind of POA that you’ve created. If you’re not confident in a single person’s decisions, then having two or three might be reasonable, but only if you know that they can work out disputes well.
This is a complex area of law, and it’s important that you assign only those with your best interests at heart. Doing so will protect you and your best interests moving forward.