My parents currently have Power of Attorney over one another. Is there a way to arrange in advance for a third party to automatically have POA when either one of them dies?

Asked by

My parents currently have POA over one another. Nobody else has POA. Is there a way to arrange in advance for a third party to automatically have POA when either one of them dies? I am in NJ.

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
Expert Answer
3930 helpful answers
Most of the time there is room for an alternate POA on the form. They could put you down for that. You may want to check with the attorney who drew up the papers in the first place. A new POA would likely need to be drawn up for each, listing you as secondary if the first person is unable to take care of things.
Expert Answer
394 helpful answers
As Carol mentioned above, most Power of Attorney documents (POA) provide for a successor agent in the event the primary agent is unavailable or unwilling to serve. Read the document to see if this is indeed the case.
A POA may be changed by the Principal at anytime as long as they are mentally competent to do so. If there is no successor agent named, it would be wise to have the documents redrawn.
Additionally, if mom and/or dad are in a state of decline it may be wise to go ahead and have the documents redrawn anyway so that another agent other than "each other" is named on a current basis.
Otherwise, some institutions (banks, brokerages, insurance companies, etc.) will require either a "Revocation of POA" or some other demonstrable evidence that the primary agent is not able or unwilling to serve. Just complicates things at the very time when "uncomplicated" would be beneficial.
Here is the problem I have with my Mother. Since Dad died four years ago, she drew up a new power of attorney, with my brother as the agent. When she did this I reminded both my brother and Mom to make me the alternate in case of my brother's death (we have no other siblings). Otherwise, it would leave me with no way to help my mother or I would have to seek guardianship. They did not put me on as an alternate and Mom's reply is that she will add me when she needs it???? leaves me in a pickle. I can't explain to her and seem to get it across that this POA thing is to help her. I also am dealing with a very paranoid person for no real reason. I just hope nothing happens to my brother. I have no intention of seeking guardianship of mom. Explain to your parents that no one wants to have to get guardianship of a parent when it is so easy to just add you as an alternate. Good luck, hope they are more compliant than mine Mom.
Your parents will need new POAs. It is recommended that it be notarized but that is not always required. Their bank will most likely have a Notary. Something like these words need to be added to that of the Attorney in Fact, " and in the event that the named Attorney in Fact is unable to act in his/her capacity during such inability to act, I nominate and appoint ___________ to act as my Attorney in Fact with each and every foregoing power previously granted to such named person
I am my dad's power of attorney. as well as my mothers. My dad has alzheimers and has been placed in nursing home. Now they won't even tell my mom anything only me. His insurance wont either. I never intended my mom to be excluded. How can I fix this so she will still be able to make inquiries and decisions as long as she is able and then retain poa for when she isn't able.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support