Does the Oldest Child Have Power of Attorney?

Just because someone is the oldest child doesn’t mean they automatically get power of attorney.

The power of attorney allows someone (called an agent or attorney-in-fact) to make decisions for another person (the principal).

The belief that the oldest child always gets this role is a misunderstanding.

The principal decides who gets power of attorney.

This article explains what power of attorney is, how it’s assigned and clears up the misconception about the oldest child always getting this responsibility.

Does the Oldest Child Have Power of Attorney
Does the Oldest Child Have Power of Attorney? Photo Source (Forbes)

What is Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a special legal document. It lets one person (the principal) choose someone else (the agent or attorney-in-fact) to make decisions for them.

The document says what the agent can do, like handle money or decide about health, based on what the principal wants.

What are the Different Types Of Power Of Attorney?

There are different kinds of power of attorney that do different jobs:

  1. General Power of Attorney: This one gives someone the power to handle a lot of things for you, like money, legal stuff, and healthcare choices.
  2. Limited Power of Attorney: With this, you’re letting someone do specific things for you, like selling a house or running a certain business.
  3. Healthcare Power of Attorney: This is for medical decisions. If you can’t decide about your treatment, the person you choose can make those choices for you.
  4. Springing Power of Attorney: This type only works in certain situations, like when you can’t make decisions because you’re not well, as written in the document.
What is Power of Attorney
What is Power of Attorney? Photo Source (Freepik)

What is the Importance Of Power Of Attorney In Legal Matters?

Having a power of attorney is really important for a few reasons.

First, it lets you relax knowing that your stuff will be taken care of the way you want, even if you can’t make decisions yourself.

It also means that someone you trust can handle money, legal things, and medical choices for you.

This helps avoid confusion and fights. Basically, having a power of attorney in place is a smart move to stay in control of important stuff and avoid going to court.

It’s something everyone, including families, should consider.

Factors Affecting Power Of Attorney

Choosing who gets power of attorney is a big decision. Let’s break it down:

Legal Rules

Before you give someone power of attorney, there are rules to follow.

Different places have different rules, so it’s good to talk to a lawyer near you.

The person giving power of attorney (that’s you) needs to understand what they’re doing, and the paperwork has to be done right.

Picking the Right Person

When choosing who should have power of attorney, think about a few things. First, pick someone you trust and who will do what’s best for you. Consider your relationship, if they’re good with money and decisions, and if they have time for the job. Talk openly with them about what you want, and make sure they’re okay with taking on this responsibility. You can even pick more than one person or have backups just in case.

Age and Birth Order

Some might think the oldest child should be in charge because they’re seen as more responsible.

But it’s important to look at each person separately. Just going by age might not be the best way. Think about everyone’s abilities and if they can handle the job.

Choosing the oldest child without thinking about these things might mean missing out on someone better for the job.

In the end, picking someone for power of attorney means thinking about the rules, personal stuff, and how age might play a role.

Talking to a lawyer, choosing someone you trust, and making sure they can handle the job are all important steps in making sure the right person is in charge when you can’t make decisions.

Exploring the Oldest Child’s Role as Power of Attorney

The oldest child in a family is usually seen as responsible and reliable.

They often take on more duties as they grow up. People might think they’re a good choice for important roles like power of attorney.

Common Assumptions About The Oldest Child And Power Of Attorney

People might think the oldest child is:

  1. More responsible and grown-up.
  2. The automatic choice because they’re the oldest.
  3. Closer to their parents and know their wishes.

But, it’s not always true. Every family is different, so we should look at other things when picking the oldest child for power of attorney.

Factors To Consider When Deciding On The Oldest Child As Power Of Attorney

When picking the oldest child for power of attorney, don’t just think about their age or what people assume. Consider these things:

    1. Legal understanding: The oldest child should know the rules about power of attorney and make good choices for their parents.
    2. Time and closeness: Check if the oldest child has enough time and is near the parents. Being a power of attorney means talking a lot, going to meetings, and handling money stuff. If the oldest child is far away or busy, it might be better to pick someone else.
    3. Family relationships: See how everyone in the family gets along. While the oldest child might seem like a good choice, make sure other siblings are okay with it. Talk openly with the whole family to avoid problems.
Oldest Child as Power of Attorney
Oldest Child as Power of Attorney. Photo Source (Freepik)
Other Family Dynamics And Their Influence On The Decision

When thinking about whether the oldest child should be in charge, look at more than just their age. Consider:

  1. With parents: Even if the oldest child is close to the parents, check how each child connects with them. The one in charge should understand and support the parents, no matter who’s older.
  2. With siblings: See how well the brothers and sisters get along. Choosing the oldest child might upset others. It’s important that everyone feels listened to and part of the decision to keep the family happy.

So, when deciding if the oldest child should take charge, think about lots of things, not just their age. Consider what they know about the rules, if they have time, how they get along with everyone, and if it’s good for the whole family.

FAQs About the Oldest Child and Power of Attorney

  1. Does the Oldest Sibling Automatically Get Power of Attorney?
    • No, just being the oldest doesn’t automatically mean someone gets to make decisions for another. It depends on what the person wants, not who’s the oldest.
  2. Is the Oldest Child in Charge After Someone Passes Away?
    • No, being the oldest doesn’t automatically mean someone is in charge when someone dies. This is usually decided in a will or by a court.
  3. Can a Brother or Sister Stop Another from Visiting Mom or Dad?
    • Yes, legally, one brother or sister can say the other can’t visit their parent.
  4. Does the Oldest Child Always Decide Important Things?
    • No, just being the oldest doesn’t mean someone always gets to decide important stuff. It depends on what the legal papers say and what the person wants.
  5. How Do Brothers and Sisters Decide Who Gets to Make Choices?
    • Usually, it’s decided by legal papers. Brothers and sisters can talk about it, but the final say comes from the person who is giving someone the power to decide.
  6. Can the Oldest Child Be Told No?
    • Yes, the oldest child can be told no if the person giving the power decides to pick someone else.
Oldest Child as Power of Attorney Dynamics
Oldest Child as Power of Attorney Dynamics. Photo Source (Freepik)


Being the oldest child doesn’t automatically mean they get power of attorney. It depends on many factors.

Legal professionals can help understand the rules in your area and guide you in making the right decision for your family.