Can my sister and I both hold the power of attorney for my father?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
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I have a power of attorney for my father. Can my sister get her own power of attorney for my father, too? Is that possible?

Expert Answers

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.

It’s possible, but may not be wise or what you all intend.

Bear in mind that it’s your father who must finalize the power of attorney issued on his behalf—and up to him to specify the person or people he wants to act for him.

If he wants both you and your sister to share the job, then he can write a new power of attorney making that clear. This set-up will mean, however, that both you and your sister have to agree on all actions taken on your father’s behalf—and this can be difficult in all but the closest of families.

Another possibility would be for your father to name one of you as the agent in the power of attorney, and name the other as a back up or successor who would act if the first person was not willing or able to do the job. This sometimes helps in family situations where a parent doesn’t want to be viewed as excluding one of the children from duty.

A few words of caution about legal procedure: If you now hold a valid power of attorney for your father, and he finalizes another one that names your sister alone as his agent, it will effectively revoke your powers, since the law will consider the most recent document to be the controlling one.