Who can be a POA and how many can you have?

Asked on November 9, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Each state has rules for who can serve as a POA but in general they must be at least 18 old, of sound mind and willing to accept the appointment as an attorney-in-fact (you can check with a local lawyer to find out specifics in your jurisdiction).
As to how many people you can appoint as a your POA, you can have more than 1; you can appoint multiple agents. You'll need to determine whether these agents can act jointly or separately in making decisions. The fact is that multiple agents can act as checks and balances against one another, however they can disagree and 1 person's schedule can potentially delay important transactions or signings of legal documents. If joint agents are used, it is generally a good idea not to have more than 2 otherwise the need to make joint decisions can become cumbersome. If you appoint only 1 agent, you should have a backup or "contingent agent" who can take over POA duties from the original agent, if needed.

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