By appointing an attorney, a person can appoint someone to act on his or her behalf and represent his or her interests. Powers of attorney are needed for a variety of reasons.
In the State of Virginia, we have nine types of power of attorney that can be used. The most common matters represented are medical and financial. A person may, however, be elected to represent a person's affairs in legal action, whether for a set period or forever.
The Different Types of Power Attorneys that are used in Virginia
• Advance Medical Directive This allows you to appoint another to make health care decisions and communicate with your medical providers on your behalf in the event you can no longer communicate your wishes competently. This document requires Two (2) witnesses.
• Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney This type is for use when you want to have someone in place to handle your financial matters. Because this type stays in effect even after you can no longer make your own decisions, many use this for long-term planning purposes. This document requires a Notary public.
• General (Financial) Power of Attorney This is similar to the durable form because it allows you to appoint someone to handle your financial affairs. However, it is different from the “durable ” form in that it automatically becomes void if you become incapacitated. This document requires a Notary public.
• Limited Power of Attorney This can be used in discreet, limited situations of your choosing. You can specifically write how and when you want your agent to act. This document requires a Notary public.
• Minor (Child) Power of Attorney Allows a parent to select a family member or close friend to take responsibility for their child's health care, well-being, and education. This document requires Caregiver and two (2) witnesses.
• Real Estate Power of Attorney Selects a representative to handle the sale, management, or purchase of real property for a specified period or on a durable basis. This document requires a Notary public.
• Revocation of Power of Attorney This form is to revoke any type of power of attorney that you may have entered into in the past. No signing requirements but it is recommended that the form be signed by a notary public.
• Tax Power of Attorney ( Form PAR 101) Authorizes a person to represent you before Virginia Tax concerning the tax matters you specify or revoke a prior power of attorney authorization Signing Requirement: The agent(s) only Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form VSA-70) is used to appoint another individual to handle motor vehicle registration, transfer, and titling issues on your behalf before the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Signing Requirement: The agent(s) only.
All of Power of Attorney are important in their way. My experience since COVID-19 has shown that many people are getting their Advance Medical Directives and Durable Power of Attorneys completed.
An Advance Medical Directive (also known as a living will) gives someone you trust the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. The term "durable" refers to a power of attorney that continues to function even if you become incapacitated.
These are two out of the five components of estate planning. An estate plan includes a wide range of documents, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney (POAs), and beneficiary forms, all designed to determine what happens after death or when you are unable to make decisions on your own.
There's no doubt that it's a difficult topic to address, but it's an important one at the end of the day. An estate plan prevents your assets from winding up in legal limbo for years, putting a burden on your children and other family members who must deal with your finances without an estate plan.
These are important documents to have in place just in case as we know things happen in the blink of an eye. I know personally that not having a Durable Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive in place when my father suddenly fell ill and died a few weeks later caused a lot of stress as he handled things no one was aware of, and it was difficult to figure out where to start during an already stressful time. Having these important documents for your loved ones will assist in being able to focus on YOU during difficult situations/times.
Do you know when to use a Power of Attorney? Is there anything needed to ensure you and/or your loved ones' wishes are the things valued most are honored? Do you want to put your family at ease by knowing you loved them enough to have instructions and details in place for them? Select the correct form here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What should I do if my Parent lives in another State?
A: The power of attorney must be tailored for the state in which your parent resides. It does not matter which state you live in, as long as the power of attorney is applicable to the principal’s state of residence, which in this case is your parent, is what matters.
Q: How to change/remove Power of Attorney?
A: Normally, by creating a new power of attorney that addresses the same powers as your previous power of attorney, it will automatically revoke your previous power of attorney form. It’s important that you notify all individuals and institutions of the change. Complete and sign this Revocation of Power of Attorney Form in order to remove your current power of attorney.
Q: Can a Power of Attorney change a Will?
A: This is ultimately determined by the laws in the State. Some States allow, if the principal specifically grants the powers, to allow the agent to modify their Last Will and Testament. However, this is not a method that is recommended to change a Will.
This blog is for educational purposes only. I am NOT an Attorney. Therefore, by law, I cannot explain or interpret the contents of any document for you.I cannot explain how to complete or fill out a document. By doing so, I would be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and could face penalties that include the possibility of incarceration. Any questions about your documents will need to be addressed to the person you received the document from. If you need to have your document notarized, contact leumaS Mobile & Electronic Notary Services, LLC at (804) 495-1517 where we can come to you or get your documents electronically signed and notarized online.