November 28th, 2016, Elder Care Matters Q&A discusses the importance of selecting an Agent under a Power of Attorney
Question: Who may act as an agent under a Power of Attorney?
Answer: In general, an agent, or attorney in fact, may be anyone who is legally competent and over the age of majority. Most individuals select a close family member such as a spouse, sibling or adult child. However, any person such as a friend or a professional with an outstanding reputation for honesty would be ideal. You may appoint multiple agents to serve either simultaneously or separately. Appointing more than one agent to serve simultaneously can be problematic because if any one of the agents is unavailable to sign, action may be delayed. Confusion and disagreement between simultaneous agents can also lead to inaction. It is usually more prudent to appoint one individual as the primary agent and nominate additional individuals to serve as alternate agents if your first choice is unwilling or unable to serve.
Answer was provided by Nancy Burner, Esq., in East Setauket, New York. Attorney Burner is a Partner Member in the National ElderCare Matters Alliance. I concur with Attorney Burner’s suggestions, the Durable Power of Attorney is, in my view, the MOST important Estate Planning Document! -Paul B. Plant