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Power of Attorney for Personal Care

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Can I name more than one attorney?

Yes. But if you name more than one person as your attorney, all your attorneys must agree before a decision can be made on your behalf unless you state otherwise. When two or more attorneys must agree on a decision, they are said to act "jointly". When the Power of Attorney document says that they can make decisions together or separately, they are said to act "jointly and severally".

Example: Suppose you live alone and have been in an accident. You need a care facility but you are now mentally incapable of choosing the facility you prefer. Your Power of Attorney for Personal Care names your two friends, Paul and Susan, as your attorneys for all personal care decisions. But now Paul is away on holidays and cannot be reached. If your Power of Attorney says that Paul and Susan must make decisions jointly, Susan cannot act alone.

However, if your Power of Attorney says they can make decisions both jointly and severally, Susan can act for you right away. Even if Paul and Susan are both available, one or the other can still act alone. Or they can discuss the situation and make a decision together on your behalf.

If you do want more than one attorney, think carefully about whether your attorneys should act jointly or not. Make your decision clear in your Power of Attorney document.