Multiple powers of attorney? Less is best

The role of the power of attorney — an individual authorized to act for another person in legal or financial matters — is an important one. And, it’s a role that we often encounter in real estate proceedings.

A power of attorney may take responsibility for any number of decisions, including issues involving payment of debts, distributing assets, selling real estate and personal belongings, and much more. With numerous responsibilities to fulfill, you may wonder if multiple powers or attorney would be more efficient. In a word, the answer would be “No!”

Decisions can be easily short-circuited when two powers of attorney must agree on everything. Dealing with one trusted individual simplifies the process and makes it easier for all parties involved. And when real estate is involved in the process, the power of attorney needs to sign off on all paperwork. Therefore, multiple powers of attorney can lead to delays, especially if they are located in different geographic areas.

If more than one close family members wants to serve in that capacity, consider appointing one as power of attorney and the other as a “back up.” This may help family members who feel obligated to serve feel more involved in the overall process.

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