When you have to trust one of your kids with this decision, how do you choose? 97



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After a meeting with the lawyer last week he suggested that at the age of 72, it’s time that we set up a proper structure around our “later years of life” as he called it. We all know that one day it will happen, but we’d never discussed it in this much detail!

He said to my husband and I that we need to appoint someone as two things, or two people as two different things – the Power of Attorney and executor of our wills.

At first I was scared because thinking about death frightens me and in my opinion, this was far too soon. But then I was scared because we have four children – so whom do we choose?

The hubby and I began discussing this and as we spoke over a glass of red we realised that the descriptions of our kids became funnier and funnier! We decided to share this little recount with you…

Firstly, there’s Rachel. She’s our eldest daughter, is a primary school teacher, has four children and is somewhat scatter brained. However, when it comes to making decisions she’s quick, logical and knows how to get things done.

Then, there’s Maggie. Maggie, who’s the second eldest is an accountant of a very good law firm. She’s very smart – probably the most intellectual but when it comes to emotions she’s not quite as quick. She’s great but she does have a mild tendency to do things with little emotional regard for those around her.

John is next and he’s a sharp-witted sales man who works in real estate. With two kids and a lovely wife things are well balanced. He has been very successful but is definitely a people pleaser – so would he do what he feels is right or what those around him want him to do?

And then finally there’s Simon. He’s a plumber, is very loyal, carries very little stress and lives with a “nothing bothers me” attitude! He’s intelligent but sometimes his laid back style stops him from using the noggin.

So there were have it. Our four kids.

The qualities of the ideal POA and executor of the will would be intelligent, compassionate, logical and decisive. And between the four kids, we’ve got someone who fits just that!

But you can’t leave these responsibilities to four people and you can’t just ignore them completely. The kids all get along very well, too so we don’t think there’d ever be a serious issue between them. But we’re very confused!


So tell us, have you made these decisions? How did you choose? Who would you choose if you were in our position? What do you think is the most important quality to keep in mind?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. ha ha ha. this is so funny . I doubt anyone would post up one of their kids names here for fear they would see it or hear about it.. me personally wouldn’t risk it..for fear of world war 3

  2. Choose carefully I have heard of some horror stories concerning power of attorney. For instance the kids putting mum in a nursing home, then selling her home. Or just selling the house from under her, just make sure whoever you choose is honest and moral

    2 REPLY
    • I was going to appoint my sone in law but then he said he did not want ro cause friction between my daughter and her siblings – tough one

  3. I will never sign a power of attorney.Have read and seen so many horror stories about old people being left homeless and or penniless.My executors are 2 of the children.You can always assign the public trustee if you want a good percentage of your lifes savings to go into their coffers.

    1 REPLY
    • This is a hard decision to make. It will be a year tomorrow since we lost our Mum. She once asked me about being power off attorney etc. I took on the role only if one of my Sisters was asked. Thankfully it all worked out well, which made this time so much easier. I have a friend who all three children are involved and it’s now with lawyers,because of one.

  4. I have 1 married daughter…I do not and will not ever trust her….my brother is 8 years younger than me…he will do everything I want done…

  5. Being an executor of a will can be very time consuming and people are time poor this days and to avoid siblings considering that perhaps the elected sibling has worked things out to suit themselves I would choose a solicitor to be the executor – even though there is a cost involved it might retain family harmony in the long run. As for giving your kids power of attorney – either give it jointly to two of them in the hope that no bad decisions will be made or better yet give it to one child and a trusted relative eg sister or brother – again for the same reasons.

    2 REPLY
    • Very true Maureen. My sister and brother-in-law were executors of my mothers will, they did whatever they wanted without consultation with the other beneficiaries. My other sister and I feel that Mum should have has all three daughters as executors. Sadly, I no longer am on speaking terms with my elder sister 🙁

    • My brother & I were executors but we still had the lawyer do all the work. It was worth the $1500 & no arguing with the other siblings.

  6. Got 2 sons. I have the one most like myself as executive of my will + the older son more like his dad as his , plus make the medical decisions for either or both of us should that become a issue. That’s sharing the load and sure they are mature , thoughtful and caring enough to know what is right + necessary at the time. But I ain’t going anywhere just yet, got superannuation to spend first!!!!!!

  7. I would suggest someone outside the family if you can’t choose one of your children i.e. public trustee. That will take the burden from them also.

    2 REPLY
    • Public Trustee is the way to go if you don’t have someone or don’t want to risk a mess.

      1 REPLY
      • Only use The Public Trustee as a last resort. Never let them handle your finances if possible.

  8. I have no fears…. I know my children will do the right thing…. They have told me the only thing that will fight about is my precious hand written recipe book which bears the marks of many years of use.

    1 REPLY
  9. I have my three sons as joint executors of my will and they have joint power of attorney and I hope they can agree on the right thing to do at the time. I just couldnt choose between them. So I will trust them all. They are all fine men and get on really well.

    1 REPLY
  10. Have done this and have chosen a relative close to.me.and my children who they can be guided by according to what I want so done.

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