What Does Having Power of Attorney With Dual Agents Mean? – ElderLawAnswers.com

African American grandfather with his sons and grandson smiling and talking outdoors.A power of attorney is among one of the most important incapacity planning documents you can have. It designates someone you trust with taking care of your affairs if you become unable to do so.
In a power of attorney, you give one or more trusted people of your choice the right to manage your affairs if you cannot do so because of a medical emergency, mental incapacity, or other life event.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City
Firm Name
City, State
Firm Name
City, State
Firm Name
City, State
Every state has its own rules for the format, content, and provisions of powers of attorney. In New York, for example, the statutory form states that, once executed, the POA shall not be affected by a person’s subsequent incapacity unless they have specified otherwise in the form. This is often referred to as a durable power of attorney.
A power of attorney may be helpful in avoiding confusion among your family members and loved ones by putting specific people in charge of your affairs ahead of time. For example, you could appoint your spouse as well as a professional as co-agents, separate agents, or primary and secondary agents in your power of attorney.
Many POA forms allow for a variety of options in designating who may act as your agent. First, you will have to designate your primary agent.
Depending on the rules of your state, this can be one person or more than one person. They may be able to act independently of each other, or you may be able to require that they act together. These technicalities are usually form- and state-specific.
In most POAs, you also have the opportunity to choose a successor or “backup” agent. Again, this can be one or more person(s) who may act separately or together. In some instances, you may be able to provide specific rules of succession.
A POA gives your agent(s) control over a wide range of subject matter. This can include the following:
Many states do not allow a POA to confer power on an agent to make medical or health care decisions on your behalf. Instead, this must be done through another form, such as a health care proxy.
Most state laws have specific sections that govern the legal responsibilities of an agent acting pursuant to a POA.
An agent, dual agent, or successor agent has a fiduciary relationship with the principal and, as a result, the following duties:
Agents can be liable for conduct or failures to act that violate any fiduciary duty. A state’s law will usually define the extent of their liability, so it is important to become familiar with this law before entering into a POA or agreeing to serve as an agent.
A power of attorney can be durable or springing. The terms of a power of attorney usually become effective when the agents and principal sign it, or upon the occurrence of an event specified in the document.
If you have elected to have dual or co-agents, you should consider whether you wish for them to be able to act concurrently or separately. Each agent has equal power to decide on the matters that the principal has specified in the POA.
However, if you have specified that the dual agents must act together and they disagree about what action is in your best interests, they could find themselves in court, needing a judge to act as the tiebreaker, so to speak.
Waiting for a judge’s decision can cause a delay in situations where this is not desirable. For example, if a health aide needs to be hired, or government benefits need to be applied for, and there are disagreements, this could impede appropriate care.
For this reason, many professionals recommend avoiding these situations by allowing agents to act separately, not choosing people who have the potential for conflict, or appointing one primary agent and a successor agent.
A successor agent can step in where your primary agent is unable or unwilling to serve. In addition, you may be able to appoint a monitor, which is a person who can be kept informed of decisions and actions your agent is taking. As mentioned above, if your state permits the appointment of a monitor, they are entitled to a record of all transactions done or made on a principal’s behalf. The monitor can obtain this information from the agent or third parties upon request.
You can terminate a power of attorney if you see fit, as long as you are of sound mind. There are several ways to end a dual power of attorney. You can terminate your dual power of attorney in the following ways:
A power of attorney will also terminate in the following circumstances:
Setting up a power of attorney requires the expertise of a professional, especially because POA laws vary by state. Find an attorney near you who can provide guidance and ensure that your power of attorney meets your state’s requirements.
What is a reasonable amount of reimbursement for me as an agent under a power of attorney who is paying bills, picking up pre…
My dad had a stroke, which has led to aphasia and mild dementia. He can't communicate the right words but he seems to be…
My 89-year-old mother-in-law was cut off from Medicaid because she did not fill out some forms. She has been in and out of th…
My wife is attorney-in-fact under a durable power of attorney for her dad, but her name is spelled Ann and it should be spell…
Need more information?
Subscribe to Elder Law
Updates.
Find an elder law attorney in your city.
Learn more about our practice development tools for elder law attorneys.
In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.
To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.
Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.
In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.
To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.
Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.
Careful planning for potentially devastating long-term care costs can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.
If steps aren’t taken to protect the Medicaid recipient’s house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.
There are ways to handle excess income or assets and still qualify for Medicaid long-term care, and programs that deliver care at home rather than in a nursing home.
Careful planning for potentially devastating long-term care costs can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.
If steps aren’t taken to protect the Medicaid recipient’s house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.
There are ways to handle excess income or assets and still qualify for Medicaid long-term care, and programs that deliver care at home rather than in a nursing home.
Most states have laws on the books making adult children responsible if their parents can’t afford to take care of themselves.
Applying for Medicaid is a highly technical and complex process, and bad advice can actually make it more difficult to qualify for benefits.
Medicare’s coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. For those who can afford it and who can qualify for coverage, long-term care insurance is the best alternative to Medicaid.
Most states have laws on the books making adult children responsible if their parents can’t afford to take care of themselves.
Applying for Medicaid is a highly technical and complex process, and bad advice can actually make it more difficult to qualify for benefits.
Medicare’s coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. For those who can afford it and who can qualify for coverage, long-term care insurance is the best alternative to Medicaid.
Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.
Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.
Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.
We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.
Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.
Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.
Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.
We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.
Understand the ins and outs of insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home care, including when to buy it, how much to buy, and which spouse should get the coverage.
Learn who qualifies for Medicare, what the program covers, all about Medicare Advantage, and how to supplement Medicare’s coverage.
We explain the five phases of retirement planning, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, types of investments, asset diversification, the required minimum distribution rules, and more.
Find out how to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, when to fight a discharge, the rights of nursing home residents, all about reverse mortgages, and more.
Understand the ins and outs of insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home care, including when to buy it, how much to buy, and which spouse should get the coverage.
Learn who qualifies for Medicare, what the program covers, all about Medicare Advantage, and how to supplement Medicare’s coverage.
We explain the five phases of retirement planning, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, types of investments, asset diversification, the required minimum distribution rules, and more.
Find out how to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, when to fight a discharge, the rights of nursing home residents, all about reverse mortgages, and more.
Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.
Learn how a special needs trust can preserve assets for a person with disabilities without jeopardizing Medicaid and SSI, and how to plan for when caregivers are gone.
Explore benefits for older veterans, including the VA’s disability pension benefit, aid and attendance, and long-term care coverage for veterans and surviving spouses.
Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.
Learn how a special needs trust can preserve assets for a person with disabilities without jeopardizing Medicaid and SSI, and how to plan for when caregivers are gone.
Explore benefits for older veterans, including the VA’s disability pension benefit, aid and attendance, and long-term care coverage for veterans and surviving spouses.

source

Join The Discussion

Compare listings

Compare