Sibling disputes regarding power of attorney

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2018 | Probate Litigation |

Specifying a Minnesota power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning activities a person should do. A power of attorney has the job because it allows someone the ability to act on behalf of an incapacitated or deceased person. There is either a medical power of attorney who is charge of a person’s medical treatments or a financial power of attorney who has financial power, including opening and closing bank accounts, paying bills, cashing checks, etc. Both of these tasks require the power of attorney to act on the best interest of their principal.

When a parent names one of their children to be their power of attorney, it can cause problems among the other children who may feel left out. Siblings may feel distrust among the other siblings, and they may also not agree with the choices that are made. There are certain things a family should know about a power of attorney designation.

First, the power of attorney designation ends at death. The agent no longer has any power of the principal’s estate once they die and the court will appoint an executor. Once a parent is incapacitated, they cannot revoke a power of attorney. If an agent is acting improperly, the family members will need to file a petition in court to challenge the agent. The court can revoke the power of attorney and appoint a guardian. If a parent is competent, they can revoke a power of attorney at any time.

Most families disagree about their parent’s care at least once in a while. While everyone has their parent’s best interest at heart, sometimes, one may feel like a sibling is making a bad decision. An attorney who specializes in probate dispute understands that families who are not in agreement need guidance. Instead of risking the end of a family relationship, an attorney can help a family talk through their differences and help come to a mutual agreement. It is important that everyone keeps the parent’s best interest in the forefront and make decisions based on that instead of emotions.

Families often disagree about issues regarding their parents. It is important that families always keep in mind the best interest of their parents and work through the differences that may arise.