Clients often ask me if they should have more than one agent named on the New York Durable Power of Attorney (POA). The high-level answer to this question is “it depends”. Logistically speaking, it is often easier if only one agent is appointed on the POA. This is because financial institutions may require both agents to sign any paperwork as opposed to allowing just one. This can be the case even when the POA states that both agents may act individually. Before a decision is reached, the principal should check with their financial institutions to check company policy. It is often the case that the bank may have their own internal POA form so please be on the lookout for this.
Additionally, if you are contemplating having more than one agent, it is important to be sure that both agents are like mind and will not act in opposition to one another. This will not serve to benefit any of the parties involved. It is fine if you want two agents as a form of “checks and balances”, but again you should be sure that these two agents will not spend more time combatting with one another as opposed to serving as a fiduciary for the principal. If you are still unsure of what to do when it comes to naming your Durable Power of Attorney, an estate planning lawyer will be able to guide you in your decision.