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When the Health Care Proxy and the Financial Power of Attorney Can’t Agree

When the Health Care Proxy and the Financial Power of Attorney Can’t Agree

Two people are discussing an agreement

When the health care proxy and the financial power of attorney cannot agree, a careful review of and discussion about the power of attorney documents or mediation may help resolve disputes. If an agreement still cannot be reached, conflicts may need to be resolved by the probate court.

Many Power of Attorney Documents State How to Handle Disputes

If a dispute happens, adult children can look at the power of attorney documents. If they were created by a skilled estate planning attorney, the documents may include details about how to handle disputes. If that is the case, then following those statements is the right course of action.

An Amicable Agreement Helps Families Best

If there are not statements outlining how to handle the dispute, then the best course of action is to try to work out an agreement in an amicable way. Sitting down and talking through the disagreement, and outlining the pros and cons of each side, may help the family come to a decision that supports the loved one while also taking care of financial needs and obligations.

Mediation Provides a More Affordable Option Than Court

Families who cannot come to an agreement may find themselves on the path to court. Going to court can drain already strained financial assets, which is why many family law offices recommend and offer mediation. A neutral mediator can sit down with the financial power of attorney and the medical power of attorney agents and help determine a course of action that will provide the right medical care while still protecting the parent’s assets. This is a much more affordable option than going to court.

Petitioning the Probate Court for Help

If the two agents cannot come to an agreement through these methods, or if one is unwilling to discuss options in this way, then petitioning the probate court may be the right choice. Families can petition the probate courts to help resolve the dispute. The courts have an obligation to look at the facts and create a solution that is in the parent’s best interests. Interested parties can work with an estate planning attorney to understand rights and options, but the main focus is to find a solution that supports the physical and financial well-being of the parent.

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