December 13, 2010; By: Audrey Miller
All About Estates
My colleague wrote about ‘competing powers of attorney’. I would like to add comment on that issue from the personal side rather than from the legal perspective.
Many times, there are two separate powers of attorney. One adult child is asked to be POA for finance and one for care. So what happens when they disagree? This can be further complicated when two POA’s are appointed jointly.
In my work with families, I see many of whom are in conflict with one another- and particularly ugly, are conflicts between siblings as it relates to care issues for their parent(s). Most often than not, money has something to do with it.
No matter what age we may be, if we can avoid familial conflict or at least reduce it in some way, and then a positive step has been taken.
Most often conflict exists when the parent’s wishes are not known and at the time that care is required- or at least the time that care is requested (which is often a different time frame), the parent may not be able to voice their opinion.
No matter your perspective – whether you are an adult child or a parent dealing with adult children reading this article (or both), if you have not already done so, it is a good time to start an open dialogue.
Financial decisions should be able to support care decisions but they do have to work together so that the parent’s interest come first.
If families are in dispute, it may save money and aggravation to consider speaking with a geriatric care manager, elder care mediator, or lawyer before heading to court.