Can spouse and daughter share power of attorney duties?

Can my spouse and daughter share the duties?

Power of attorney protocols

Ellie wants to know the protocols around appointing powers of attorney. Estate planning lawyer Rod Cunich offers his advice.


Q. Ellie
We are a married couple with one married daughter and two grandchildren. When making a power of attorney document, should I nominate my husband and daughter to act on my behalf? And should my husband name me and my daughter to act on his behalf?

Would this document still be legal if either of us was incapacitated and both our names and our daughter’s name were on the document?

A. Commonly, couples first nominate each other as their sole attorney, and then name their child – in this case, your daughter – or children as back-up if the spouse can’t do the job due to illness or death.

For those who do appoint their children, it’s recommended that you appoint them jointly so that they can share the burden and also keep an eye on each other to minimise the chances of abuse of powers. 

Joint appointments can cause inconvenience if, for some reason, it’s hard for the attorneys to communicate. Some recommend using a solicitor, accountant or professional friend to minimise the chance of an attorney misusing his/her powers and using your money for unauthorised purposes. The downside of this is that they would charge a fee for the work they do.

Rod Cunich is a lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, email it to


Disclaimer: This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature. Seek legal advice before acting on this information.



    Financial disclaimer: All content on the YourLifeChoices' website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care, but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness with regard to your circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances. Financial comments provided by readers cannot be relied on as professional advice, but as general comments only.


    To make a comment, please register or login

    16th May 2018
    This law regarding ones will needs to be changed.When one still has all their marbles
    And they make their will this should be in concrete and should not be allowed to be contested by some far distance relative who has had no connection to the person for 30 years or more. Same goes for X partners after seperation .l say again when one makes their will when they are fully competent it should not be allowed to be contested
    Lou Lou
    16th May 2018
    The law on POA and Enduring POA is Joke to all out there listen to me I had Enduring power of attorney made 28 years ago when my second husband and I married . He was diagnosed three years ago with dementia he started to mistrust everyone unbeknow to me his Daughter was filling him with doubts about me and telling him lies of stealing money she got him to do a power of attorney behind my back I didn’t find out till they forced me out of our home and all my bank acc and health funds closed as she had the Power of A . There is nothing in the law that says they need to notify you that you no longer don’t have the Enduring power which I thought I went to many legal services. So what’s the use of them and paying all that money at a lawyer with your partner because they can go out the next day and make the butcher or baker there power of attorney. That is why there is so much elder abuse I lost my home my son my dog my neighbours my local friends all to this bitch .
    So that she and her siblings can get all there father’s money before he dies . We have been together 30 years in all and wait it looks as though I’m only going to get 40% of our assets . She is a corporate lawyer and has engaged another lawyer for him. What money I have is being eaten up in legal bills . As to his commonwealth super I found out today I will get $8000 a year while he gets twice as much I’m 66 he 83 . I spent the last thirty years looking after him our son my mother making a beautiful home for what I won’t even have enough to buy myself a unit. Plus who going to lend to me at my age?
    No wonder older woman are becoming the fastest group of homeless . As to rent relief what a fas it should be according to how much you pay and your income most rental these days are between $350 and above .
    I told my dr of 24 years what was happening I contacted the dementia foundation as what was going on I went to the law society nd not one has help no one wants to get involved . Only when it affects them will they scream.
    I am so disalustion with with people and I will trust no one again after what they have done to me .
    28th Aug 2018
    Wills should be updated If you are separated or divorced. That includes power of attorney

    You May Like