Can power of attorney be assigned to an out-of-state child?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Can someone appoint power of attorney to someone living out-of-state. that is a child?

Expert Answer

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Sure. Those appointed to serve as agents in a durable power of attorney often live in a different state than the principal"”that is, the person making the document. The most important thing is to choose someone that is best suited to the task. Most people choose someone they trust, who knows them well, and is likely to understand and fight for their wishes"”a spouse, child, close relative or friend.

That written, however, when the appointed agent lives in another state, it can also be a bit trickier or inconvenient for him or her to do the job. But the barriers are not impossible.

An agent named in a durable power of attorney for healthcare, for example, might need to be available to travel to the principal's bedside to supervise medical care"”or at least be in close touch with the doctors and other medical care providers by phone or email.

And an agent named in a durable power of attorney for finances may need to meet periodically with an accountant, bank personnel, or representatives from other financial institutions. But again, with the reality of online banking and other technology, much can be accomplished across the miles.