Does Power of Attorney Override a Spouse
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Does Power of Attorney Override a Spouse?

Not many relationships hold more legal power than those with spouses, but just being married might not mean that an individual has the last word in all issues. Discover what power of attorney means and if it overrides the spouses’ rights.

Not many relationships retain more legal power than spouses, aside from a parent’s or legal guardian’s power in making decisions on their children’s behalf. Marriage imparts more than eleven hundred and thirty-eight federal rights and advantages on the married couple, as well as the tax free transference of property and splitting of marital property following divorce.

Nevertheless, being married might not mean that an individual has the last word concerning all issues. Discover what power of attorney means and if it overrides the spouses’ right.

What Is the Power of Attorney’s Authority?

When your spouse has imparted another individual else power of attorney over specific matters, you might not have the final word. A power of attorney gives another individual or entity decision-making authority over some or every matter like if you decided yourself. A general power of attorney concludes should you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney stays in effect following incapacity or your passing. The individual that executes a power of attorney is known as the “principal,” and the individual granted authority is referred to as an “agent.”

The consequence of entering in a durable power of attorney as opposed to a non-durable power of attorney can be considerable and varies by case. A principal needs to always search for the counsel of a proficient estate planning lawyer prior to executing either of the documents.

Powers of attorney are broad or limited. Non-durable powers of attorney are usually given for limited purposes or transactions, like closing real estate, so they just give the powers required for that purpose and for a short period of time. Durable powers of attorney, on the other hand, are usually extremely broad in nature, permitting the maximum range of powers permissible.

Durable powers of attorney are usually loosely worded enabling the agent to manage the principal’s financial matters, like banking, the paying of bills, the management of loans, filing taxes, access to public benefits, and managing property, securities, and other assets.

Who Has the Last Word in Your Legal Affairs?

Overall, a power of attorney overrides the wishes of a spouse. Typically, a power of attorney is given to another member of the family, business colleague or another trusted consultant with particular expertise in a certain discipline, like an attorney, accountant or business manager. A non-spouse might be better suited to manage the particular property, business, etc. for the benefit of the principal or their family, including their spouse. The agent is typically the executor and/or trustee of the principal’s will and trust, also

Since a power of attorney grants an individual the ability to take the role on as your legal representative in the issues authorized in the instrument, you should think about several factors before deciding on an agent. The single most vital thing to honestly answer when thinking about who to nominate as power of attorney is this question: Is this individual going to be capable of utilizing the power I am granting them for mine and the benefit of my family if I become incapacitated?

What Should You Think Prior to Deciding on an Agent?

Does the individual:

  • Share my ethics?
  • Have the experience to carry out my business, financial, legal, and personal matters?
  • Have the emotional maturity required to manage the duties they are going to need to undertake as my agent?
  • Have the time required to manage my matters and their own matters?
  • Have sufficient financial security that they are not going to take advantage?
  • Have sufficient resourcefulness that they are going to be able to manage unfamiliar circumstances?
  • Have the capability to navigate my family’s personalities and family dynamic?

The last question is specifically relevant when nominating one of several children, a step-parent to children, or a non- member of your family. Way too many individuals fail to answer some, all too occasionally any, of these questions and instead just decide on their spouse, their oldest child, and, sometimes all of their children, is going to all but guarantee a disastrous outcome.

Designating such person, a power of attorney needs carefully think about the scope and consequences prior to granting such power. Go over your plan with a proficient attorney that can help you protect your rights and guarantee compliance to your wishes.


  1. Moran, G. (2020, May 8). Does power of attorney override the wishes of a spouse? LegalZoom. Retrieved December 29, 2021, from

Choose the Right Attorney in Arizona

Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important you make the best choice for you when hiring an attorney. Remember: The decisions you make now can affect your future. Ultimately, choosing the best lawyer will depend on which lawyer feels best for you and your situation.

If you want to learn about Michelle N. Ogborne and see if she is the right attorney to represent you in your collaborative divorce in Arizona, contact us today!

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