Choosing an agent for your powers of attorney is a very important estate planning decision. There are many options for who to choose as an agent including children, spouse and family friends. It is important to consider who is honest and responsible and can handle the new powers and responsibilities of being an agent.
When an agent is named it is important to also appoint a successor agent in case your agent passes away or becomes unable to serve.
If you prefer not to pick a single agent, you can name co-agents in your power of attorney. If you have multiple agents be sure to include the stipulation that a majority of agents must agree in order for action to take place. Another option is to designate one of the co-agents as the “tie-breaker” who can make a decision if no consensus can be reached. Choosing to have a few co-agents instead of selecting one agent helps clients who struggle in deciding how to appease numerous children when appointing their agent.
No matter how many agents you decide to appoint, you must speak with those you are considering about the task. Make sure any potential agents understand the responsibilities they would undertake and have an honest dialogue about any concerns you have in naming them. Also, meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss any limits you can place on your power of attorney. Creating a limited power of attorney can limit the power your agent has and can provide peace of mind if you are concerned about an agent.