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A Brief Guide to Powers of Attorney in Virginia

Considering the types of powers of attorneys is essential for any effective estate plan in Virginia. A power of attorney grants someone you trust, referred to as your agent, the authority to make certain decisions on your behalf when you are otherwise unable to make those decisions for yourself. In the context of powers of attorney, you are considered the principal. 

Your agent is obligated to operate in good faith when executing authority granted under your power of attorney. He or she must also act for your benefit and have your best interests in mind. 

Durable vs. Non-Durable Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney granted in Virginia are usually designated as durable unless otherwise specified due to the state’s adoption of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. A power of attorney is durable when the document is still legally recognized when the principal becomes incapacitated. The durability does not specify the specific authority granted by the principal; it only refers to the situation in which the form is legally active. 

On the other hand, a non-durable power of attorney is not enforced when the principal loses capacity. A non-durable type might also have an expiration date or other constraints attached to it. 

Springing Power of Attorney

This power-of-attorney type specifies the time and conditions for which the legal document comes into effect. A common use of springing PoA is for when the principal loses capacity and someone else must make medical decisions on the principal’s behalf. 

Limited Power of Attorney

This type lays out specific tasks that may be completed by the agent on behalf of the principal. Often, principals will allow those granted authority from a limited power of attorney to engage in a variety of financial activities. Limited power of attorney is also used to allow agents to act on behalf of the principal for singular events and responsibilities, such as signing a legal form when the principal is on vacation or out-of-town. 

General Power of Attorney

This type is generally used to grant a comprehensive amount of power to agents. For example, you might empower your agent to make financial and medical decisions for you. Or, you may specify different agents for different duties in your general power of attorney. 

Contact Norton Pelt For An Estate Plan That Works For You

It is not uncommon for powers of attorney to be handled incorrectly or improperly. There is always a potential for mistakes to be made when creating your power of attorney forms, which makes it crucial to consult with an attorney who is experienced in estate planning. The team at Norton Pelt is committed to helping our clients reach the best outcome for their legal matters. Get in touch with our firm today by dialing 540-440-7007.

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