The Vermont durable power of attorney (durable POA) is a legal document one party, called the principal, uses to authorize another party, called the agent or the attorney-in-fact, to act on their behalf and represent them before governmental, financial, medical, or other institutions and third parties.
The principal can use the Vermont durable power of attorney for every situation where they are not able to personally complete a certain action or make a certain decision. This can happen due to the principal's mental disability, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or simply because they lack the professional knowledge to complete a certain legal action.
A durable power of attorney will remain valid and effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in Vermont
Laws & Requirements
Relevant laws: Title 14, Chapter 123 - Powers of Attorney
Signing requirements: The principal must sign the Vermont durable power of attorney before at least one witness and a notary public. (14 V.S.A. § 3503)
Statutory form: The Vermont legislature doesn’t provide the statutory form for a durable power of attorney.
“Durable” as defined by the state law: According to 14 V.S.A. § 3501(6), “Durable power of attorney” means a written power of attorney in which the authority of the agent does not terminate in the event of the disability or incapacity of the principal.
How to Fill out a Durable Power of Attorney in Vermont
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should determine the person who will represent you before third parties and protect your interests. That person should be an adult with legal capacity. Moreover, it should be a person you can trust, especially if they have the authority to make decisions about your finances or medical care.
Once you have selected your agent, enter their full name and mailing address in the Vermont durable power of attorney form.
Here, you can also determine the successor agent. That is the person who will act in case the primary agent loses their legal capacity or, in some other way, becomes unable to represent you.
#2. Grant Authority
Once you have selected your agent, you must determine their scope of authority.
The Vermont durable power of attorney form provides three ways in which you can determine your agent’s scope of authority:
Scope of Authority
General authority. This option will enable your agent to take on all the necessary activities and interact with all the third parties on your behalf. You can limit the general authority by providing a list of activities that are not included in your agent’s scope of authority.
Partial authority. Here, you can select the activities you want to include in your agent’s scope of authority from the list of activities provided in the Vermont durable power of attorney form.
Special authority. This option enables you to describe your agent’s scope of authority in your own words. In this way, you can include the activities that are not provided in the Vermont durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
In Vermont, a power of attorney is not presumed to be durable automatically. That means that you must include specific language to indicate the durability of your power of attorney.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal, or another person in their conscious presence, must sign the durable power of attorney. There must be at least one witness and a notary public who acknowledge the signature.
#5. Notarize the Form
In Vermont, the durable power of attorney must be notarized. The notary public will confirm the authenticity of the document and prevent any future disputes in this regard.
#6. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form
After drafting and signing the Vermont durable power of attorney, you should keep the original copy in your possession and store it in a safe place.
You can also give one copy to the agent so they can prove their capacity to any third party they are interacting with on your behalf.
How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in Vermont
You can revoke the Vermont durable power of attorney by issuing a verbal or written revocation, destroying the document with the intention of revoking it or issuing a new power of attorney that will overrule the previous one.
However, the most efficient way of revoking the Vermont durable power of attorney is to issue the revocation letter. This letter should include the agent’s full name and the power of attorney issuing date.
To make the revocation effective, you should send one copy of the revocation letter to the agent and to every third party they interact with on your behalf.