Virginia Power of Attorney Lawyer

Powers of attorney can remove uncertainty and help ensure that your wishes are fulfilled when it comes to future decisions regarding financial matters, health care, and other issues. However, if not created properly, a power of attorney may be unable to accomplish its purpose.

If a power of attorney is drafted too broadly, it could hand over authority in a way you never intended. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if a power of attorney is too specific, the holder may not be able to take steps in accordance with your directives.

Therefore, it is wise to work with an experienced Virginia power of attorney lawyer. An estate planning lawyer who understands the intricacies of powers of attorney could create the right documents to suit your needs.

Understanding a Power of Attorney

Quite simply, power of attorney is the legal authority to act on behalf of another person. The power is established through a document, so sometimes the document granting the power is itself referred to as a power of attorney.

A power of attorney may authorize someone to make all types of decisions or may restrict the decisions to a particular scope. The power may last through a single transaction or may continue indefinitely, depending on the wording of the document.

A Virginia power of attorney lawyer could answer questions and help ensure that someone creating a power of attorney understands precisely what the document allows another person to undertake on their behalf. When someone grants power of attorney to another, they do not give up the right to make decisions for themselves; they simply authorize an additional individual to make decisions or take actions.

Durable Power of Attorney

Traditionally, powers of attorney often ended when the person granting authority (known as the “principal”) became incapacitated. Virginia power of attorney lawyers realized this took away the usefulness of a power of attorney at the time when it was most needed.

A “durable” power of attorney is one which is specifically intended to remain in force until the death of the principal, even if the principal becomes incapacitated. As part of Virginia’s adoption of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Va. Code. §64.2-1602 specifies that powers of attorney created in the state are now presumed to be durable unless the document creating the power specifies otherwise.

Springing Power of Attorney

In many cases, when someone establishes a power of attorney, the power goes into effect immediately. Power may be current even if there is an understanding that the person holding the power will not exercise that power until the principal becomes incapacitated.

Older styles of estate planning may include a Virginia power of attorney that it is “springing” and will not become effective until an event occurs, such as the incapacity of the principal. If the principal dies, however, a power of attorney ceases regardless of the type.

General vs. Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney may be extremely specific. For instance, a Virginia power of attorney lawyer may create a document granting someone power of attorney to sign a single document while the principal is on vacation.

By contrast, a general power of attorney may continue indefinitely and may allow someone to make all types of decisions on behalf of the principal. An individual might grant one person power of attorney to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated and grant another person power of attorney to pay bills and make financial decisions on their behalf at any time to relieve the burden of managing finances.

Talk to a Knowledgeable Virginia Power of Attorney Lawyer Today

While a power of attorney is a valuable estate planning tool that may be used in a variety of situations, it is crucial to understand the authority involved before granting the power. The principal will be bound by decisions made by someone operating under the authority of a power of attorney even if they do not agree with those decisions.

An experienced estate planning attorney could craft documents to meet your specific needs. To learn the advantages of working with a Virginia power of attorney lawyer, call now for a consultation.