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My in-laws want 2 of their 6 children to have Dual POA. Is that possible? They want these two children to both have to sign all of the checks (takes 2 signatures) and both to make decisions on their behalf. Is their a form for such?

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After my father died 26 yrs ago I had my mother to re-do her will. The one they both had, had me as everything. That was ok at the time but she needed to assign some of the jobs to my 9 other siblings. I was not interested in POA but would be her Health Care Representative. One of my sisters was to be the alternate, should I not be able to fulfill the job. She assigned 2 of my brothers as her POA with as co-POA's. Several of my siblings are thankful she did. One of the POAs decided he was in charge and was telling the rest of us what we needed to do about selling our mother's house, while he stayed in another state and did nothing. He wanted my sister to get a plumber to come and replace a pipe in the basement. My sister works a full-time day time job. So she ask the other POA if he could do it since he worked days and nights. He took at look at it and said that it was fine and didn't need to be replaced. The other POA brother was also trying to tell this brother how to sell mom's house, my brother has sold and bought 3 homes in his lifetime and was very familiar with the process. The absent POA resigned with a notarized letter that he sent to all of us. I think having a dual POA was a good idea at the time, so yes it is possible. For my siblings and I it became a nightmare.
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Reply to Ladyj1949
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I’d advise against it, have them both on it but be allowed to act independently.
if you trust them then trust them all the way. They are not conjoined twins.
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Reply to Getkicksonrte66
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Yes, but unless the two POAs live very close to each other, it will be a real pain on check signing unless it is down as OR on checking/savings accounts, etc. check with attorney and bank before diving in on this potential nightmare! My Mom had me down as POA and sister as backup POA. If something happened to me, my sister could take over. Also, both of our names were put on all bank accounts. We went to the bank together to get this set up.
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Reply to elaineSC
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I would say it’s up to the bank as to how many sign a check. Just like any joint account, only one person of the ones listed sign the check. I’m not sure why any bank would require both parties. On our joint account either me, my dad, or my sister can sign. just like my husband and my joint checking. We use checks for paying dad's annual Medigap policy premium and the CPA. Etc. not everything is paid my auto draft or credit card.
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Reply to Harpcat
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Yes, dual Financial Powers of Attorney are possible, but perhaps not advisable. If you are talking about the potential duals "signing all the checks," I assume that you are talking about having both potential dual Financial POAs on the parents' financial institution documents. That may not work well,
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Reply to Llamalover47
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My two friends, Jim and Beth, went through the POA forms with Beth's only cousin. No children involved or other relatives. They made me the #1 Power of Attorney, another friend the #2 POA, and the cousin the #3 POA. This was all notarized at their bank using their attorney. I went there the next day to sign and they were relieved someone was stepping in to help them.

I have done all the work and made all the decisions, but kept the other two POA's informed of my actions and decisions. When I leave town for a trip or something, they other two know where I am going, how long I will be gone and how to reach me. I keep a small pile of important documents and Jim's checkbook in the middle of a table so the #2 POA could find it easily in case that is necessary. Only one signature on a check is needed and I also add in parenthesis "POA" after my name. This had worked well since begun in 2013. Jim and Beth moved into a memory care apartment in 2015 and Beth passed on about 5 months later. Jim is still there and I am still managing his affairs behind the scenes. I can't see him each week like usual with the COVID-19 crisis, but he is in good hands there. We have been friends about 47 years. Jim is a well-educated black man whose grandfather was a slave as a boy. I am a very fair-skinned Swede. He always greets me as his "brother of another color." And that is how it is supposed to be able to work.
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Reply to JohnnyJ
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Dual powers of attorney are possible. An elder lawyer would be able to draft the necessary documents. However, in my experience, most attorneys would discouragendual powers of attorney as they can be difficult to execute especially when the named persons disagree on a particular issue. I would suggest that the in laws reconsider this. Based on experience, I believe in the long run, the children will be greatful.
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Reply to Peanuts56
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When I set up my Uncle's POA I did it with my father, they are brother's. It was suggested to me by those at the hospital to be able to act separately so that is what we did. The form we used he had to initial the one line that we could act separately, rather then together. My Uncle is 85 and my Dad is 87. I would also suggest once you set up POA, to also put your name's on their account as joint if that is okay with your in-laws. Then you can still pay any bills upon their death. My Uncle is really easy going and happy that we are doing this for him. I still try to have him sign checks to pay bills, or checks that come in the mail so he is aware of what's going on, but again he really doesn't care, just happy that someone else is taking things over for him. I do involve my Dad with all decisions, it is nice to have another person to discuss what is best for our loved one. Hope this helps!
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Reply to Robinsca33
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I would not do two.
Not just for the possible problems that might come up but what if one person is on vacation and can not be reached easily. If an urgent decision needed to be made what would happen in that case?
You could have one as POA for Health and the other as POA for Finances.
But most important the In-laws need to spell out exactly what their wishes are and the person or persons that are to be POA MUST be in agreement with those wishes.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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No, I would Not recommend dual POA. My best friend and her brother were dual POA’s for her Mom who passed away about a year ago. Every little thing has been a struggle for them to agree; they have spent thousands on lawyers. Their inheritances have pretty much been all but spent on attorney fees. Pick One, and the other can be contingent, or one can be Medical POA, the other one financial POA, but that can also get muddled. Best to just have One.
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Reply to gemswinner12
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Niece,
My brother and I are dual POA for my Aunt. The wording used in the POA is myself "or" my brother. It could have been "and".
This allows us to work on my Aunts behalf independently of each other. Although my brother is hands off, if something happens to me, he can take over.
As for signing checks, it seems to me that is something that needs to be done thru the bank.
You may want to contact the local council for aging services.
It maybe possible to get senior legal services to draw up the POA.
Best wishes!
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Reply to xrayjodib
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My wife is POA for her widowed mom who's pretty far along with dementia. Unfortunately, my wife is currently disabled to the point where she can't exercise the POA and I'm trying to cover things for her without it. My wife is the only surviving child (older sister passed from cancer about 15 years ago).

Before my wife got hurt, they were trying to change the bank her mom's social security check goes to and the social security agent on the phone wouldn't recognize the POA which had been faxed to them and wanted to talk to my mother in law on the phone. Well, that didn't go well as my mother in law went off on a ranting tangent and the conversation ended. So, just because you have a POA, the other party doesn't necessarily have to honor it. At least according to the SSA.
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Reply to soninlaw58
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disgustedtoo Apr 2, 2020
Before we had to move mom, I needed to help mom change where her SS went. She had opened an acct in a local bank and sent her SS there, so she could access cash easier, but given I was taking over her finances my preference was to have only one acct (none of us were joint on this other bank acct either.) So, at her place I called SS and they wanted her to approve talking to me.

BTW, NO federal agency cares about any POAs we have - that includes SS, Medicare, IRS, VA and Federal Pensions, maybe others too,

The problem we had was mom has very bad hearing. Unfortunately she kept saying "I can't understand you", instead of saying "I can't hear you". I could hear the woman from 3' away and would just tell mom she only wants you to approve talking to me. That prompted the woman to ask even quieter and finally get me on the phone, rudely told me I would have to go to their office and hung up. More than likely she thought I was trying to scam mom.

So, what I did was take the POA to the credit union where her primary accts were and had THEM process their paperwork to switch banks. YES, they can do this! Initially the person said no, but I showed them their online info, so she did it. Once that cleared, it automatically stopped payment to the bank and I could close that account.

NOW, that all said, here's more info: SS does NOT accept you paying someone's bills/managing their SS funds unless you sign up as Rep Payee. I found this out because I needed to change the address to get any/all paperwork (changes, updates, tax info) sent to me (before selling condo! you can't have federal mail forwarded!) Don't call the primary SS number unless you like being on hold forever. It might be more difficult now, given the current situation. I called MY local office, set up appt and filed. It isn't hard, they ask a bunch of questions and didn't ask to see anything I brought, other than ID. It requires setting up a special account, which is ONLY the SS funds and ONLY the approved person can access it. You have to wait for approval from SS before the acct can be set up, but while waiting, ensure the bank has someone who knows how to do this! THIS was the most difficult part of the process.

They will require accounting at the end of the year, which can be done online. Keep good records so you can report how the funds are spent/saved. They questioned me this last year, because I listed it all going to the housing/food option. The letter says most people have other expenses, vacations, etc. My reply to them was yes they do, but it all went there as her pension and SS cover less than 1/2 the facility, she's 96+ with dementia, hearing loss and mobility issues! Not like she's going on vaca to Hawaii!

If you need more info, let me know
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Given the current situation, this might not be the best plan. As others noted, just trying to get both signatures on any documents or checks could delay everything, especially if they are not located near each other.

I agree with others, having at least one alternate IS a good idea, so if one becomes incapacitated or is unavailable, the other can take over. It is best to consult with EC attorney, to be sure all is set up properly, AND to get advice on how best to set it up. Squabbles, refusal to sign, etc can become a serious roadblock - we have too many comments in various threads about siblings who do not play nice together!

In our case, only my YB and I were set up as POAs - OB was not local/available to sign anything at the time. We were already both on her primary checking account, which made life a little easier. There is no wording about either/or/joint, but for the most part I took over the finances and everything else. YB does virtually nothing (for the record, he thinks the facility takes care of everything - sure, for her care, but there is a LOT to manage outside of that!) Initially I consulted with both, as we should, but they apparently have no interest, so I don't bother now. They've had plenty of time to question expenses, how I pay via her account or how the trust funds are used. Nothing. So, when the time comes that she passes, I don't want to hear a WORD from either one. Here's your 1/3 share of the remaining trust funds (if there are any, with the current situation!), after all her final expenses are paid. My feeling is either stay involved and ask now, or forever STFU!
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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That's a great way to create conflict and animosity among family members. Have them choose one, the best, that they feel, is capable of POA. Have them explain to the rest, why they made this selection.
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Reply to JoeCPA
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Jada824 Apr 3, 2020
Conflict is sometimes caused by the POA. My mom had my brother & myself on her accounts & my brother closed them & opened new ones without my name. He didn’t want me to see that he was writing checks to himself for cash.

He has since refused to let my mom see or speak to myself or my kids & has had my mom’s trust amended to benefit only him.

Power & control goes to some people’s heads! This is not how my mom wanted anything but it too late now since she has dementia. My brother & I were close before all this happened & I trusted him.
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I forgot to add that I am the only one that signs mom's checks so our POA must be set up as either/or.
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Reply to GuiltAndSorrow
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Another option is to have one person be POA and the other be the contingent POA.
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Reply to Bigsister7
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My older brother and I have joint POA for my mom in case something happens to me. We agreed that I would handle everything (financial and medical) since I live in the same town where mom's NH is located and he lives 6 hours away. We chose to set up an account for mom at a national bank that has branches near both of us which made it easier to sign documents, etc. My brother has no desire to be bothered with paying mom's bills, doing her taxes or checking in on her well being, but at least if I'm not around he would pay her bills and do her taxes at the very least. At first I shared all information with him, but he was often very critical of my decisions and would tell me I should or could have done things differently. He became very cooperative when I told him if he didn't want to help me with these things, be part of the conversations about her care, or visit her two or three times a week and advocate for her like I do, then I didn't want to hear his criticism. Ideas were welcome, but not criticism after the fact. I would happily move mom to a facility near him and he could take over. I still keep him informed but don't try to discuss everything with him. That works better for us.
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Reply to GuiltAndSorrow
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disgustedtoo Apr 2, 2020
"...at least if I'm not around he would pay her bills and do her taxes at the very least."

In conjunction with the rest of your comment, clearly they (your brother and both of mine) have NO clue. They THINK they know it all, but they don't know squat and I worry what will happen if I become unable to manage everything.

My YB is also POA (assumption is either/or as no "and" was included.) I was the one who took the reins and moved forward, coordinating and managing everything. Initially when discussing how we would deal with her care, and later in fixing/clearing/selling her condo, both brothers were asked for input/included in decision making. Critical much? Oi. Not out of knowledge, but just off the cuff, no research, no considering anything. It reached a point where I just can't be bothered to ask for input or thoughts anymore. YB often doesn't respond, and I don't talk to OB anymore. If they had concerns, there's been plenty of time to ask.

Mom is now into year 4 at MC. Haven't had contact with OB in about 2 years (would be longer, but had to respond to query about K1 form he didn't get, FROM THE TAX PERSON! Okay genius, call HIM not me!) He isn't local and was physically and verbally abusive to me during his last "visit", so he isn't welcome in my life anymore (he also has no POA.) YB thinks EVERYTHING is handled by the facility. Sure Einstein. They care for her, provide meals, laundry, cleaning, dispense meds, etc, but they DON'T manage her meds (Rx and OTCs), they DON'T provide wipes or briefs (unless they are out and charge extra for them!), they DON'T keep track of or make appts, they DON'T collect/save tax receipts or get her taxes done, the DON'T accept direct payment from SS (which requires me to report how her funds are used), they DON'T manage the trust or her finances, which requires anticipating increases, other needs, etc. There is still a LOT that needs to be managed - CLUELESS he is!!!
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It is possible, yes, they can make all six joint POA if they want to (don't do that!).

They do want to think it through, though.

The idea of requiring two signatures on any check or any document is often along the lines of "then the responsibility is shared fairly, and each can keep an eye on the other."

There are drawbacks.

E.g. - it takes more than twice as long to get a check signed. In an emergency, or just in a hurry, this can be a nuisance - say one POA has gone on a week's vacation, the other can't pay a bill or sign a contract without him.

If the POAs live far apart from each other and paper has to pass physically from one to the other, it can cause even more delay.

Or, what if one thinks that a piece of equipment is a great idea, and the other thinks it's a waste of money? - petty details can grow into hot conflicts, especially when people are under stress.

And to be honest, if you can't trust a person 100% with your POA then you probably shouldn't pick him/her to have POA for you anyway.

They might do better to make the POAs "joint and several" - so that they'd be able to act individually as well as together - and at the same time stipulate that information must be shared with x, y and z; so that the POAs are required to share a monthly account of income and outgoings with whoever the parents would like to know about it, just for example.

How do the unchosen four feel about this, by the way? The choice of POA is ENTIRELY the parents' and nobody has any right to challenge it; but having said that, it's as well to beware possible hurt feelings.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Judysai422 Apr 2, 2020
Great answer
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It is possible. Your in laws would be wise to consult an attorney, though. I do not think it is advisable. It can lead to stalemates and make things harder to do. I think the only option to a stalemate between the POAs is court.
Who signs checks anymore anyway? They might be better off giving them both authorized access to their online accounts. If they do not trust them individually to act in the best interests of the parents, they should find another POA option.
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Reply to Alicew234
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I am an estate trustee that required 3 signatures on every cheque. All 3 of us lived in different cities. What a pain. Our lawyer was able to change it to any 2 of the three signatures...
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Reply to SandyKemp01
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We have 3 of us as POA’s
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Reply to Snevetsg57
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My sister and I are both my dad's POA. We are both signers on his accounts but only one needs to sign..we just both have check signing privileges. The only thing that required both our signatures was changing his CD to renew. She lives 3 hours away from me. This way if one of us dies or is traveling things run seamlessly. I take care of dad's finances and taxes and since she lives far away handles other issues. We are also both his Medical POA. It works great for us!
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Reply to Harpcat
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Not usually possible; check with an elder care lawyer. Better for 1 to have POA for finances - many banks require a specific POA just for finances - and the other a healthcare POA. No institution wants to have to deal with more than 1 person for decisions.

My set it up so my 2 sisters and I "share" by giving me healthcare POA, 1 sister financial POA, and the other sister Executor of her will.
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Reply to Taarna
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Your bank may refuse to accept a dual POA. Ours did, and the other POA threw a temper tantrum, to no avail.

Having two independent POAs has been an ongoing problem in our case.

By all means, have a lawyer who has specific experience with this type of situation work with you.
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Reply to AnnReid
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FloridaDD Apr 2, 2020
This, I had to jump through hoops to get the bank to accept the POA.  They wanted THEIR form, etc.  Annoying when you have an elderly loved one who cannot come in to their office
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niece, yes it is possible to have two people assigned on a Power of Attorney, and for both to sign their checks on a person's behalf.

It would be better to have such a Power of Attorney drawn up by an "Elder Law Attorney" then to do this yourself. With doing this yourself, it is too easy to leave out a word or place a wrong word both of which could create a landmine when it came to using the Power of Attorney.

As for two people signing one check, the bank can give you information and forms to fill out for the bank side of doing this. New checks would need to be created that say that the check is invalid without the two signatures. And both POA's would also be listed in the upper left side of the check along with the parent(s) name(s).
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