Concerns Over Power of Attorney Agents and Spousal Influence: What to Know

What if your child, appointed as your POA agent, gets married to someone you don’t trust? Or what if this person has a lot of say over your child’s decisions? These are serious issues when there’s a Michigan power of attorney in play.

It is very common for aging adults to name one of their children as a power of attorney. However, since the time that you have appointed your loved one as a power of attorney, you might have developed concerns about the type of influence a new spouse may have on him or her.

Unfortunately, this kind of situation does not generate any easy answers. Your power of attorney document allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf and the person that you support in this role is known as the attorney in fact. A revocation of a power of attorney can remove this person from the role but one of the easiest ways to revoke an old power of attorney is to execute a new one.

When you have worked with an estate planning attorney to create the original POA document, it will usually include a provision that says that any new POA document revokes previous ones. If you have appointed a child and you want to remove them from this role, you do need to give them notice. You cannot revoke the former POA document without giving notice.

If you’ve never given the child a copy of the power of attorney and this person does not currently have any authority to act under it, however, you may be able to avoid this process. This can be an uncomfortable conversation no matter how you approach it. Getting the support and suggestions on how to bring this up in conversation from your estate planning lawyer can help to decrease some of these issues.

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