When you set up a power of attorney, one of the first things you do is determine if it’s going to be a medical power of attorney or a financial power of attorney. This simply dictates what type of decisions the person who is named will be able to make for you.
When you do choose someone, this person is known as your agent. For instance, you may choose an adult child to be your agent through your medical power of attorney so that, if you are incapacitated, they have the ability to work with your medical team to determine what type of treatment is necessary. It can give you and your family peace of mind to know that this structure is in place if something happens.
But a financial power of attorney is much different, giving people the ability to make legal decisions, access bank accounts, pay taxes and do other things of this nature. Essentially, the agent for your medical power of attorney is going to focus on your actual care, while the other person is going to focus on taking care of your affairs when you can’t do so yourself. But do you need to pick the same person, or can you choose two different individuals?
You can choose two agents
You are certainly allowed to choose the same agent for both if you’d like to do so. Some people do so because they have one individual that they trust more than anyone else in the world. But you also don’t have to choose the same person, and you can split these duties up. Maybe you have one child who is great at the financial side of things but thinks it will be too hard to make medical decisions, while the other child believes that they can step into that role.
As you get everything in place, be sure you know what legal steps to take.