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Can siblings share POA duties?

Can medical POA & financial POA be split between my brother and I?
Status: Open    Jan 06, 2015 - 01:49 PM

Finance, Elder Law

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Expert Answers

Aug 04, 2015 - 10:21 AM

It is perfectly permissible and very common for siblings to serve as co-attorneys-in-fact and co-health care agents. Whether it is advisable to appoint more than one attorney-in-fact or health care agent to serve simultaneously depends upon family dynamics.

Aug 05, 2015 - 09:00 AM

Generally, you should be able to both serve as attorneys-in-fact; however, you should check with an attorney, first. Some individuals are prohibited from serving as an attorney-in-fact, if they are a healthcare provider or a caregiver, but these exceptions are very limited.


Jan 06, 2015 - 01:50 PM

I am not a lawyer, but I can tell you that my sisters and I share the medical and financial POAs for our father. One sister is the primary Fiduciary (Financial) POA with the others of us second and third in line, if she is unable to fulfill her duties. Another sister is the medical POA with me being the second in line if she is unable to take him doctor or dental appointments or handle the medical issues. We always discuss with the others what is going on and what we are doing.

Jan 06, 2015 - 03:17 PM

Legally the PoA is the person appointed by legal document, however, informally the duties can be shared in whatever manner suits family members if a family member has been legally appointed, (and hopefully they all get along.) However, someone other than a family member may be PoA as designated by legal document; then family members have no say in fiduciary decisions unless they are in a position to influence/guide the 'legal' PoA. If a Health Care Designee is appointed, s/he also may or may not be a family member... same thing.
Formally though, only the "legally designated" PoA is recognized by banks, financial planners, doctors, etc even if other family members are involved in legal or medical affairs. Legally as in a Trust, co-trustees can be appointed and is the best plan of action in planning personal affairs, in the event one Trustee can not or declines to serve, then the other co-trustees are equally responsible for decision making.
This is my educated advice from experience with my Mom's affairs, where she had initially designated my brother as PoA over her Trust, then 10 years later changed her mind when she became leary of his competency due to his alcoholism. My brother had to formally - legally - decline his duties and a resolution to her Trust was created in order for my sister, appointed as co-trustee, to then be legally designated as PoA; all documents which require legal filing. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to be legally designated as a co-trustee now, since our Mom has Alzheimer's and not competent to sign any new documents, nor can my sister legally change the Trust to add me as co-trustee since she is essentially guardian over the Trust documentation, and can not change or add designees to the original document. None the less, we work together in managing our Mom's affairs, however my sister is legally recognized.
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