Can there be more than one power of attorney in use?


Can there be more than one power of attorney in use at a time? Does doing a new power of attorney revoke a previous power of attorney? Can there be more than one power of attorney?


Attorney Chris Merrill: This is about financial power of attorney, and the text is saying that there are four siblings that all have power of attorney. What I'm gathering is they're saying that these were established at different times. There were two that were set up a couple of years ago, one a year ago, and then another about two months ago. So there's four siblings. The question for you, Tom, is, who has power of attorney?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. Great question. Let's start with this. When I do, or when we do a power of attorney, a new power of attorney, within the first couple of paragraphs, it states that, "I hereby revoke any and all prior powers of attorney." If that language is in the most recent one, then all the other powers of attorney are no longer valid. You don't have to have that language in there revoking all previous powers of attorney. So you could have four different powers of attorney out there, as long as they're not revoking each other.

Now, I know it's confusing, and if this is what dad really wants to have, I got four kids and I want them all to have a power of attorney, my recommendation is that dad would redo a new power of attorney, have one power of attorney document where in that one power of attorney document, he names all four kids. When he names all four kids, he would have two choices. One would be it takes all four signatures to transact business, or the other choice would be that any one of them alone, unilaterally can transact business with just one signature.

What they have may be working for them, but is not the best way to handle it, and I would recommend that dad might see an attorney and have those powers of attorney redone.

Attorney Chris Merrill: Exactly. Of course, the starting point would be reading those power of attorneys, because exactly like you said, Tom, maybe it gives individual powers on certain things to each one of them, or it's possible that they're not realizing that they have revoked previous ones. It could be that it ends up that only one is actually in charge right now.

Attorney Tom Olsen: That's right. If this texter wants to know the answer to his particular question in this situation, what you got to do is you got to look at the most recent power of attorney and look and see within the first few paragraphs, is that a language that says, "I hereby revoke any and all previous powers of attorney that I signed"?