Can we name each other as POA even if we're not married?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 07, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am currently in a relationship where we have been living together for four years. We are getting ready to do our medical power of attorneys. Can we have two primary medical power of attorneys, such as myself and one of his children, for him? If so, what form do we use?

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.

While the law does not ban a person from naming two people to share the job as primary agents in a medical power of attorney, most experts discourage the practice.

Even if you know of two people who are suitable candidates"”in your case, your partner and his child"”there are often problems brought on by the passing of time and the realities of human nature, in naming two people to share the job. In the critical time that the representatives would need to oversee healthcare wishes, they could disagree or one of them may be more difficult to reach"”rendering them ineffective as advocates.

For all these reasons, it is usually best to name one person as the principal agent"”and name another as the alternate to take over in case the first person is unable or unwilling to act when needed.

Al that written, however, if you remain adamant that you want two people to share the job, simply list them both. You do not need any special form for that. You can simply secure a current form from the nearest hospital or other medical institution.