Estate Planning

Can You Have Two Power of Attorneys? (A Lawyer Answers)

Ty McDuffey


Making a power of attorney designation may be difficult since it entails trusting someone else with the duty of making vital medical or financial decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacity or unavailability. 

For this reason, you might want two people to serve as your power of attorney. 

But does the law allow for this?

In short, it is possible to name multiple people on a power of attorney, and some lawyers recommend doing so in certain circumstances. However, while it may seem like a good idea to delegate this responsibility to numerous people, such as designating two children as co-agents, evaluating the possible legal ramifications is critical. 

This article will give you all the information you need to decide whether and how to use two powers of attorney.

Key Takeaways:

  • By appointing several agents to handle different assets, such as your real estate and artwork, you may use their specialized skills and expertise to your advantage.

  • Appointing two siblings as power of attorney is a good idea for families that want to split duties and prevent disagreements over assets. 

  • When providing several persons with power of attorney, consider appointing one person as the primary representative and the other as the secondary representative to minimize agent disagreements.

  • If the principal, the person who granted power of attorney, no longer wants the agent to have that authority, they may revoke it. 

Is it Best to Name More than One Power of Attorney?

In some situations, selecting one person as your attorney-in-fact might be the best choice. 

Disputes over the legitimacy of your document might develop when many people are designated as attorneys-in-fact. 

These disagreements cause decision-making paralysis, and the only answer may be a guardianship process

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. 

When an older couple has health challenges and memory problems, naming a spouse and a responsible child as agents may be advantageous. If one parent becomes disabled, the other parent and child may step in and make choices jointly. This helps avoid crises and family stress.

It is critical to speak with an experienced attorney to determine your circumstance's best course of action. Carefully analyze your situation since a power of attorney may only be able to avoid guardianship if properly set up.

Pros and Cons of Naming More than One Agent

In a power of attorney, naming more than one agent might have both pros and cons.


  • Convenience: Having a second agent may make handling financial and estate affairs quicker and simpler, particularly if one agent is out of town. This additional agent will be able to meet with local experts such as real estate brokers, bankers, and financial planners if they need to make quick decisions about your high-priced belongings if something happens to you while you’re away. 

  • Shared Responsibilities: By appointing several agents to handle different assets, such as your real estate and artwork, you may use their specialized skills and expertise to your advantage. One agent might know more about real estate, while the other might know more about valuable artwork. Appointing several agents to handle different aspects of your estate when you die can help ensure that your belongings are taken care of according to your wishes.


  • Disputes: There is a risk of disagreements among agents under a dual power of attorney, which may lead to family issues and legal actions. Agents might argue about financial decisions or whether the principal is mentally competent. 

  • Concerns about fraud: Third parties, such as financial institutions, may refuse to recognize co-authority. Financial institutions are especially suspicious of estate fraud, which may cause problems with estate planning or other business upon your death.

  • Increased Risk of Financial Elder Abuse: When two persons have the power of attorney, the risk of financial elder abuse increases. Financial elder abuse may occur if any agents are in financial trouble and are inclined to take the principal's money.

  • Logistical Issues: Naming two or more agents might result in logistical issues such as increased workload for the agents, confusion, and the possibility of disputes. It could also be more difficult to coordinate on decisions such as terminating life support when two agents are in different geographic areas.

Is it Possible for Two Siblings to Have Power of Attorney?

Appointing two siblings as power of attorney is a good idea for families that want to split duties and prevent disagreements. The dual power of attorney is permitted by law, and it may be an excellent method to guarantee that everyone is involved and feels significant.

For instance, if one sister is financially knowledgeable while the other is in the medical sector, the first can handle your estate’s money distribution. In contrast, the second can handle medical choices and care management.

Another reason to select two siblings as power of attorney is to minimize future family feuds. Sibling rivalry exists, and allocating roles to both siblings may help eliminate feelings of exclusion and favoritism.

However, note that the power of attorney agreement must be unambiguous and specific to minimize uncertainty and ambiguity. A sibling agreement, drafted with the assistance of a lawyer, may go into further detail about each sibling's expectations and duties to prevent any confusion. 

Before making a final choice, it's critical to discuss both siblings' needs and intentions openly and to ensure that your preferences are clear from the start. This may assist in alleviating any fears and ensure everyone is on the same page.

How to Create a Power of Attorney Arrangement With Multiple Siblings

Making a power of attorney arrangement with several siblings may be a complicated procedure that needs considerable thought. 

A joint power of attorney agreement may be structured in various ways, and the decision will substantially influence the rights of each individual involved.


One possibility is to designate the siblings as co-agents, with each having the authority to make decisions on their own. In this instance, all co-agents must agree to make a decision. 

The power of attorney should be signed by all co-agents in the presence of witnesses, and each agent should have a copy of the signed document.

Joint Agency

Another alternative is to designate the siblings as joint agents. All agents must be present in a joint agency and agree to make a decision. 

What Are Some Ways To Avoid Power Of Attorney Co-Agent Conflict?

When providing several persons with power of attorney, consider appointing one person as the primary representative and the other as the secondary representative to minimize agent disagreements.

Furthermore, separating roles, such as having one person handle monetary affairs while the other tackles healthcare choices, assigning particular obligations to each agent, or even employing a neutral third party to make decisions in the case of conflicts, should be explored. 

In any event, it is critical to thoroughly weigh your alternatives before making a choice.

Who Has the Authority to Override a Joint Power of Attorney?

If the principal, the person who granted power of attorney, no longer wants the agent to have that authority, they may revoke it. This may happen owing to changes in the principle-agent relationship, but it can only happen if the principal is of sound mind.

Some actions may be taken if the principal cannot withdraw a power of attorney, but other family members believe it is required. This may be necessary if the existing agreement does not adequately serve the principal's interests or issues with the current agent have emerged.

In these situations, family members can seek to have the power of attorney declared invalid or have the principal declared incapacitated through a legal process such as guardianship or conservatorship proceedings.

The guardian or conservator would then have the legal authority to manage the principal's financial and personal affairs. 

The appointment of a guardian or conservator is a legal process and may require a hearing in front of a judge, and the outcome of this process may vary depending on the specific circumstances and laws in the jurisdiction.

Override Procedure

If the agent is not making judgments in the principal's best interests, they might be fired. Working with a lawyer to officially seek their resignation is advised. 

If this fails, the matter may need to be brought to court through the procedures mentioned above. Having the principal's backing might be beneficial in this process.

Built-in Limitations

Many powers of attorney agreements have provisions that may result in automatic termination. 

This might include a time limit for the agent to exercise the power of attorney or a specified activity that must be fulfilled. Furthermore, the agreement will be ended if either the principal or the agent dies.

Is it Necessary to Notarize a Joint Power of Attorney?

The rules and regulations governing power of attorney differ from state to state. Understanding your state's unique rules is critical to verify that your power of attorney arrangement is legally enforceable. 

Most states require power of attorney to be documented in writing, which must be notarized and signed by all individuals involved. Furthermore, certain states may demand the presence of one or more witnesses at the document's signing.

When executing any power of attorney, it is essential to utilize the proper papers to prevent misunderstandings or administrative complications. 

You may add legitimacy to the document in several places by using a notary or two witnesses. Remember that although notarization is not necessary for all jurisdictions, it is a standard practice to confirm the document's legal validity.

If the Principal is Incapacitated, How is a Disagreement Amongst Co-Agents Resolved?

If co-agents identified on a durable power of attorney disagree, the co-agents may seek a settlement via the judicial system. Typically, this would include requesting a ruling from the probate court. 

Before reaching a judgment, the court will consider any relevant estate planning documents and hear from both co-agents. 

To settle the issue, the court has the jurisdiction to modify a power of attorney, remove an agent's powers, or appoint a new agent.

What If My Attorney-In-Fact Dies or Becomes Incapacitated?

If the designated attorney dies or cannot perform their obligations, it is critical to understand the course of action described in the durable power of attorney paperwork. 

Many powers of attorney contain a provision for a successor attorney, such as a particular family member, to fill the job. 

If the attorney-in-fact dies or becomes incapacitated, the chosen successor must provide the durable power of attorney document with their name indicated as the new attorney in fact, as well as give documentation of the death, such as medical documents or a death certificate.

How Can I Make this Process Easier for My Children?

Dividing tasks among family members is one approach to lessen some of the load. 

A parent, for example, may designate their financially savvy daughter as the main power of attorney while simultaneously naming their son, a medical practitioner, as the secondary power of attorney for healthcare-related matters. 

This enables specialized competence in certain areas, ensuring that all parts of the parent's care are effectively handled. 

It also provides for a division of work, ensuring that no one family member is overburdened by having to manage everything on their own.

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