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Some posters say appointing more than one person as POA is a mistake, because it creates conflict among siblings that share the POA. In your opinion, why do some parents appoint more than one person and do you think it’s asking for trouble? Is it ever appropriate?

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Experience has taught me this: no matter who has POA or who all has POA. If siblings do not get along, there are unresolved issues from childhood or one is caretaker and the other is POA, there WILL be issues.

If I knew then, what I know now, I would have declined being POA and mom's care taker. The only other sibling lived out of town and has been irrational over the years and we are both educated professionals.

It has been everything from demands with running day to day operations, calling the police on me and calling APS on me.

All of this, with caring for mom who has dementia has taken a toll on my emotional health. I am sure the long term health will occur too.

Please walk into your decision informed and realistically. No one ever fights over a sick parent but anyone will fight over a "Potential Inheritance"
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SusanHeart Jul 18, 2021
I am so sorry you are having to deal with this stress Barb and feel your pain.
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My dad was going to make one of my older brothers POA over finances. but decided not to when he heard he was going to charge everyone in the family rent.
I think if he had POA we would all be thrown out into elderly housing or something. He advised not too long ago that mom and I should sell the house and move to elderly housing. I told him no way, mom wil stay right in her own home. I think he was thinking about his inheritance, but you what there really won't be much of an inheritance. I am spending it all on my mother.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jul 17, 2021
Good for you! That money is for your mom.
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When I was preparing my POA documents, the lawyer said it is best to either have one POA and a back up, or an either or, but not both if you want to assign more than one.

If the POA is written that both have to agree, it can lead to delays in decision making. Or hang things up for a very long time.
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MJ1929 Jul 17, 2021
Exactly this! ^^^

My folks' attorney said that this is not the time to worry about hurt feelings but to choose someone who they felt would best handle the responsibility. I'm not the oldest, but my parents believed I would do the job better than my brother, mostly because I have more time than he does.

My in-laws chose their eldest child, my sister-in-law, who was the absolute worst of their seven kids to pick. She's a dingbat with no concept of how to handle money and thinks holistic medicine and eating weeds and bushes is the way to good health. (She's had cancer and Lyme disease in spite of that lifestyle, but OK. Her cancer spread because she didn't go to a doctor for a year, so I guess the herbs and incense didn't work so well after all.)

Fortunately, my MIL is completely able to handle her own affairs for now. Her youngest son lives with her and keeps an eye on everything for her, but I sure hope she changed her POA and named him instead.

A power of attorney is not akin to giving your kids the farm or a piece of jewelry. It's a job with significant responsibility and should be granted to the person most qualified to handle that responsibility. Sometimes it shouldn't even be a family member.
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Well, let me tell you about my situation with more than one POA. My mother has 2 children. I have a brother (lives in PA) & I am in SC. After my mom's 2nd husband passed away, she decided to change her will & all other documents that had his name on. She had called me & said that nothing would be changed for at least 1 year. Lo & behold - 3 months later she calls me & said that she has put my name, my brother & his wife as POAs & will send me copy of documents. Fine, that was her decision. My brother & I were not close at all but tolerated each other. I would send birthday cards, Christmas gifts & call on occasions. He didn't. Anyway, I noticed our mother repeating things & suggested going to doctor. Even tried to talk about what to do with mom in preparation for funeral one day. He wouldn't discuss it. Anyway, I even asked his wife to let me know how things were going & if I needed to come up & take her to dr. I would make a visit to mom at least twice a year. She refused to visit me & hasn't in 25 years. Well, my brother passed away & my mom took my brother off her will within 3 wks & guess who she added? My sister-in-law!! Crazy. After 2 years I noticed my mom was repeating alot & asking the same question over & over. Decided to go & stay with her for a week. It was horrible. Her condition, both physically & mentally. She would get up, put on same clothes & never wash or even comb her hair. She was merely 90 lbs! It was so heartbreaking. And not once did my SIL call or stop by. She lives 10 minutes away. So my husband & I decided she had to come live with us. I know I had alot to do but many years ago, I promised my mother she would not be put in a nursing home. Luckily her bills were all on auto draft so they were getting paid. Before we brought her to live with us, we went to her bank. That was another shocker. My SIL name was on her checking & savings accounts. I was horrified as she had access to everything. Well that all had to be changed also.
So much to think about & do, but we did it. My mother looks so much better, weighs 115, eating 3 meals a day, gets daily shower & clean clothes every day. We take her out to eat with us & gets daily exercise. Grant it - she doesn't know who I am anymore as she us in Stage 5 of ALZ but I am trying to give her the best life I can while I can. So, I really think everyone's situation is different. More than one POA may work for some while others it can destroy everything. Luckily, I jumped in to take over my mom's life or she would possibly be dead. She has now lived with me for almost 2 years. She is 91 1/2. Best decision ever! Thx for reading my post. Bless you! Good luck
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Malanna Jul 18, 2021
Your Mom does have a wonderful daughter and family!
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I and my older sister both have POA. In case my sister is not around or if something happens to her. The lawyer did it for us. I take care of the money part, she takes care of the medical part. It's worked out well for us. If one of us is away the other can manage. It's always nice to have a backup.
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disgustedtoo Jul 18, 2021
It isn't just nice (however it IS nice that you both work together well and complement each other!) It should be considered a necessity to have someone else, either as backup or secondary, in the event something happens to the primary OR the primary rescinds. If the principal has become incompetent, then another can't be appointed.
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I have 2 brothers. One in PA. One in NC and I am in SC. All 3 of our names are on the POA. I am so glad. I moved my mom to SC. So if ever anything would happen to me. Heaven forbid...either of my brothers could step in and just take over. Otherwise it would be a mess. My 2 brothers have always supported me. Unless you have siblings that are gonna question your every move....I recommend this. Mom is in MC now soon to be placed in a NH.
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TaylorUK Jul 18, 2021
How nice it is to read about a group of siblings who clearly have Mum's welfare and can reach agreement on the best for her as opposed to having their own view and not working together. Kudos to you and your brothers for selfless care of Mum.
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Let me give you an experience I had once. One of my home health patients was hospitalized, clearly at the end of life with no chance of recovery. She had put ALL FOUR daughters equally as her POA. Three wanted no further treatments but palliative, supportive, comfort. Fourth daughter wanted everything done including resuscitation. It was a nightmare for all. Social work tried to work with the one daughter to bring her on board, the doctors could not follow the wishes of three without consensus of all four. The one who suffered was the patient.

Pick one whom you know will follow your wishes even if you know that they may not be their own but preferably are. Pick a secondary for the same beliefs who will step in if there is a circumstance in which the primary is unable to fulfill the role.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jul 18, 2021
I totally agree with following wishes. I know someone who wanted her father resuscitated at a very elderly age. Her dad did not want it. She had medical power of attorney. Her poor dad only lived an hour after being resuscitated. That’s so cruel to do to anyone. I absolutely feel that we should respect our parents wishes. Just because someone has been given authorization to make certain decisions, doesn’t mean that they should do opposite of what their parent wants.

This woman felt absolutely horrible afterwards for going against her dad’s wishes. She had a very hard time with losing her dad and thought there was a chance to have him in her life longer. It was not meant to be.
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its just my sister and me. We are both POAs but we tend to agree on the care my mom needs. I think it works when the siblings are in sync with their parents care. I don’t think either one of us would want the sole responsibility.
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Well I can only speak from my experience. My dad appointed both me and my sister as his POAs. He knew we lived nearest and we are very close so it worked well especially if one was traveling the other could step in?My sister was an R.N. So she was very helpful when it came to his medical decisions and navigating Medicare. We would divide up some of the tasks that dealt with financials and it really helped when it came time to settle his estate.. Even though I did the lion share of daily care and tasks because he lived in my city and she was 300 miles away, it helped to have her do some of the tasks. We are both in our late 60’s to 70 when dad was alive and when he died so it was conceivable that one of us could have died before him.
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My 2 YBs have co-POA for mom. I don't know how it works. Actually, I do

Oldest brother has financial poa and YB has MPOA, but acts like he's totally in charge.

Which works b/c OB doesn't care and doesn't want to be involved in ANYTHING.

Personally, our 2 oldest daughters co-hold the POA. Actually, the OD has it, if something happens to her, then YD holds it. After that, I will assign VERY youngest daughter.

My son's an attorney and I would NEVER EVER EVER appoint him. Middle daughter is an emotional hot mess and can't deal with anything.

The daughter I chose is the oldest, but that's not why I chose her. She's capable, unemotional and totally fair. She will do a great job. DH and I argued for YEARs about why I would not have son as POA. (LIst is too long). I refused to sign the will until DH gave in--finally seeing how OD would be a MUCH better choice. DH's entire reason for choosing son was because--he's a man. Seriously? Does having male genitalia make you a better judge of character and/or better at 'manly things' like expediting wills.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jul 18, 2021
This is common. I am with you, Mid, gender should not be a determining factor!
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