Why does my oldest sister get automatic power of attorney?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 23, 2016
Lou asked...

Why does my oldest sister get automatic power of attorney?


Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com 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.

She doesn't.

The person who makes a power of attorney to oversee financial or medical matters is free to name anyone he or she chooses. While some people assume that the oldest child would be the logical choice, that person may not have the temperament, time, or patience needed for the job.

It is also possible to name more than one person to serve as attorney-in-fact in a power of attorney document, which can help keep the peace in some family situations. This arrangement can be dicey, however, if those appointed tend to disagree, since they all must agree on and approve every action taken.