Pros And Cons Of Having Different Medical And Financial Powers Of Attorney

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Pros And Cons Of Having Different Medical And Financial Powers Of Attorney

11 July 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog


When they're making plans about their estate, many people will choose a responsible person with whom they have a close relationship to serve as the medical and financial power of attorney. This person — often your adult child — then has the legal power to make any important medical and financial decisions in the event that you cannot make these decisions yourself. While it's customary to have one person handle both of these duties, this isn't always the case. Here are some pros and cons of having different medical and financial powers of attorney.

Pro: It Distributes The Workload

You may not like the idea of adding a lot of work and stress to someone you love, which is what can happen when you appoint someone to play both roles. However, when you divide these two duties among two people, you'll be distributing the workload. This can be favorable if you have two children, for example, as they can both contribute without one person taking on everything.

Con: It Requires Constant Communication

When one person handles both responsibilities, he or she may confer with other family members but knows that all decisions remain his or hers to make. When you have two people in these roles, constant communication is necessary. This is likely easy if you're selecting two people who are close, but if you have two people who perhaps don't know each other or live in different areas, communication between the two could possibly be a challenge.

Pro: You Can Choose The Right Candidates

Picking separate medical and financial powers of attorney allows you to choose two perfect candidates. For example, if you have one child who is highly compassionate, he or she may make an ideal medical power of attorney. A child who has a smart financial mind is a logical choice for your financial power of attorney. This may be a better scenario that appointing one person for both roles if the person would likely be strong in one area but not as proficient in the other.

Con: It May Be Difficult To Find Two Candidates

Not everyone has two people who would be ideal for these two roles. For example, while this scenario works well when you have a pair of children, you may only have one child. Having your child take on one role can work, but you'll then have to evaluate who else to get. It could be niece or nephew, for example, but not everyone has a large extended family. If you're struggling to find two suitable candidates, having just one person assume both responsibilities may be best.

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