Power of Attorney Disputes
Power of attorney (POA) documents are an important part of planning for one’s future financial and health care needs and decisions. While a person can give their POA to anyone, they are commonly reserved for close family members.
However, in families where sibling dynamics are especially complicated, disputes over POA can lead to painful fractures.
Choosing the Person to Name as POA
Deciding which loved one to name as your POA is a difficult process. Some parents automatically default to their oldest child, regardless of whether or not they are the best candidate. It is important to choose someone who is trustworthy, dependable, and savvy with financial and healthcare matters.
You can also assign one individual to be your healthcare POA and another to be your financial POA, if that makes sense for your situation.
Power of Attorney for Healthcare
A power of attorney for healthcare (aka a health care proxy) is intended to give another person the right to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, should you become mentally or physically incapable of making these decisions for yourself.
If you are unable to act for yourself, your POA may give your healthcare agent the right to:
- Accept or refuse medications, pain management, and other treatments
- Decide whether to continue life-support services, including if such may result in your passing
- Access your medical records
- Determine which physicians will treat you
- Make decisions about organ and tissue donation and autopsy, as well as disposition of remains
Your healthcare agent is required to adhere to the provisions included in your directive. You can allow them to make all or some of the decisions listed above. Your Brooklyn elder law attorney works closely with you to tailor your POA to your individual needs and ensure your wishes are respected.
How to Handle a Family Dispute Over POA
When a person chooses one person over another to hold POA, feelings sometimes get hurt. Non-POA children or loved ones can feel overlooked or not trusted to handle these important life decisions. One way to prevent disputes is to name two POAs as mentioned above; one for financial decisions and another for medical matters.
Another option is to designate consecutive agents. This way, if the primary agent is unable or unwilling to assume the responsibilities of POA, a secondary agent can take over. This gives each sibling some investment in your decisions and gives you peace of mind knowing your plans will be upheld should you become ill.
Consult a Brooklyn elder law attorney to find out all the available options, and which would be best for your situation.
Brooklyn Elder Law Attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Help Clients Answer Tough Questions About Power of Attorney
Appointing a power of attorney is one of the smartest decisions you can make – not only for you, but for your family members as well. It ensures your wishes are carried out should you become too ill to advocate for yourself. A Brooklyn elder law attorney at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP helps to prevent painful family disputes with smart and effective POA documents.
To schedule a case evaluation call 212-495-8133 or use the convenient web contact form to get started today. With locations in Brooklyn, New York, and Lakewood, we serve clients across Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York.