A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document wherein a person (referred to as the Principal) delegates authority related to legal and financial matters to another person or persons (referred to as the agent).

New York Law

New York law does not limit the number of agents you can appoint in this document. The Principal controls whether the agents have the authority to act separately or together.  Unless you specifically designate otherwise, the agents must all act together. An advantage of choosing that the agents act together is to provide a safeguard of checks and balances. However, it may also cause delays in decision making based on an agent’s availability or disagreements between the parties.

A more practical approach is to allow the agents to act separately. Even with the ability to act separately, the agents should still openly communicate to avoid duplicating efforts such as paying the same bill twice.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Although there is no limit on the number of agents you can appoint in your Durable Power of Attorney, the old adage “too many cooks in the kitchen” still applies. Appointing more than two or three persons to serve at one time may prove to be counter-productive.

It is important to consult with an experienced attorney when considering your power of attorney to discuss and outlines the pros and cons of these decisions as they relate to you.

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