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How to Handle Sibling Disputes over a Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney or POA is a common term in the UAE due to the fact that things such as succession have become commonplace. However, when it comes to issues of POA involving siblings, things can get complicated. Before we continue, let us understand the POA.

The Power of attorney is the decision by the property owner or principal to choose someone who will act and make decisions on their behalf. In many cases, people opt to use agents and attorneys, but in some situations, the principal decides to award one of their children with the power of attorney.
There are so many reasons why someone may use the Power of Attorney. Whatever the reason, the agent selected should be a cautious, well-rounded decision maker with at least some financial or medical experience.

Sibling disputes over power of attorney in the UAE

In most families in the UAE, the eldest sibling stands a higher chance of getting awarded Power of Attorney. Whilst some families have no problem with this since they deem the first born as being the most responsible and having a better knowledge of the family history, it is not automatic that the rest of the siblings will agree to this. This is because some firstborns are not responsible and are not capable of making well-informed financial decisions.
Such situations can cause disputes between siblings and can escalate quickly. Although it is stated that only the principal can revoke a Power of Attorney, family members can also do so, but they will have to go through courts. While doing so, they need to present enough evidence showing that the decisions being made by the sibling with the POA are against the wishes and benefits of the principal.
It is essential to note that while a sibling can be awarded Power of Attorney, their powers are limited. Nevertheless, there are two kinds of Power of Attorney that are likely to be given to the children by the principal, namely the Financial POA or the Medical POA.
One question that keeps coming up when it comes to sibling disputes over POA is if the appointed sibling can stop other siblings from seeing their parent or principal. Well, a financial power of attorney does not make one capable of stopping other siblings from meeting with the principal.
However, the medical power of attorney is capable of doing so. Having said that more often than not the medical power of attorney is usually appointed to someone who is a medical practitioner. The powers of medical power of attorney can also be extended to the sibling with the financial power of attorney if needed. To make the Medical POA viable against other siblings it has to be determined that visits from other siblings may have harmful medical effects on the principal. Note that most people who award power of attorney are old, and some are incapacitated and prone to health conditions that emotions can trigger.
Another critical piece of information you need to know is that the POA is only active if the principal is still alive. Once they pass on, the court will appoint someone else to take charge of the property while taking care of the succession process.
Moreover, the principal always has the final say regarding power of attorney. With that stated, power of attorney cannot be transferred without the principal’s consent. In simple terms, the firstborn cannot transfer the POA authority to any other sibling without the approval of their father or mother.

The leading cause of sibling dispute over the power of attorney.

One of the leading causes of sibling dispute when it comes to POA is failing to act towards the wishes and interests of the principal. That is why it is essential that the principal correctly understands their children in order to choose the right child to award medical or financial power of attorney to. If the principal makes the wrong decision, other siblings are likely to be affected directly which is usually the source of the conflict.
On the other hand, if no one has a problem and everything is running the way it is supposed to, there is rarely need for siblings to feud. However, if the siblings have never seen eye to eye and are likely to dispute even if the responsibility is awarded to the right child, hiring an agent or attorney can be the best solution.
We can help you.
When it comes to such delicate family issues, we at Notary Public Dubai have a team of experts more than capable of assisting. By guiding you through the entire process we take care of all the difficult aspects so that you don’t have to.

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