Appointing someone to act as your power of attorney may help you to keep control over your finances and medical decisions in the event you suffer mental incapacitation due to an accident or old age. Still, the idea that your power of attorney, also called your agent, might abuse the power of the position may cause you to hesitate. This dilemma is why some people appoint more than one agent.
As Forbes explains, you have the option of picking multiple people to serve as co-agents. This option may ease your worries since you know that one person will not have sole authority over your financial and health care decisions. Still, there are some things you should consider about picking co-agents before going through with this choice.
The positives of appointing multiple agents
When you appoint multiple agents, you have different options to structure their powers. You might decide that one person should have authority over your finances while another will take control over your medical care. As an alternative, you might grant your co-agents the same power but require them to receive the consent of the other agents. These options create a system of checks and balances that may restrain one agent from abusing his or her authority.
The possible pitfalls of appointing co-agents
Going with multiple powers of attorney does not come without risks. For one thing, your co-agents should live close to one another. Even in the current age of video conferencing, you would still need your co-agents in reasonable proximity so they can sign documents when needed. Also, if your agents get into debates over decisions, it could cause significant delays. In cases involving your health, you might need a decision from your agents quickly.
In addition, picking multiple agents does not guarantee that abuse of power will never happen. It is possible for co-agents to collude to defraud or abuse the person they should be caring for. In spite of the risks, appointing co-agents might work well for you if you give careful thought to the people you would appoint and the powers your co-agents would have.