When managing one’s affairs, particularly in situations involving incapacity or disability, a power of attorney (POA) can be invaluable. But what if you want to assign this responsibility to more than one person? Can you have multiple powers of attorney? The answer is yes, but there are a few essential considerations to remember.
Understanding Power of Attorney
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s first recap what a power of attorney is. A POA is a legal document that allows one person (the principal) to grant another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on their behalf in specific matters. These matters can range from financial transactions to healthcare decisions.
Can You Have More Than One POA?
Yes, it is indeed possible to have multiple powers of attorney. According to various legal sources, a person can create more than one POA document, and people often do. This can provide flexibility and ensure your affairs are handled precisely as you wish.
For instance, you might appoint one person to handle your financial matters and another to make healthcare decisions. Alternatively, you might name two or more people as co-agents in a single POA document.
Pros and Cons of Multiple POAs
While having more than one POA can provide numerous benefits, such as ensuring all aspects of your affairs are covered and providing a system of checks and balances, there are also potential drawbacks.
One primary concern is disagreement among your chosen agents. If your agents have differing opinions on a decision, it could lead to conflicts and delays4. This is why some legal professionals advise against naming multiple agents unless necessary.
How Many POAs Can You Have?
Technically, there’s no limit to how many POAs you can have. However, ensuring that the powers granted in the different documents do not overlap or conflict is crucial. Each POA should clearly define its scope and the specific duties of the agent.
What If You Want to Have Two POAs?
If you decide to have two powers of attorney, there are a few things you should consider:
- Clear Communication: Ensure each agent knows about the other and understands their respective roles.
- Define Decision-Making Process: If you name multiple agents in the same POA, specify whether they must make decisions jointly or if they can act independently.
- Consider Alternates: Instead of naming multiple agents, you might call one primary agent and one or more alternates who can step in if the primary agent is unable or unwilling to serve.
So, can you have multiple power of attorney? Yes, but it’s essential to carefully consider your choices and consult a qualified attorney to ensure your POAs are set up correctly and in your best interest. Remember that every situation is different; do not take your legal advice from a blog. For more information, contact our law group. At McBrien Armistead Law Group, we’re here to guide you through every step of this process.