A Virginia power of attorney is a legal document in which one person, called the principal, grants another person, called the agent, the authority to act on their behalf. This document is commonly used when the principal is unable to manage their affairs personally due to illness, absence, or other reasons.
In Virginia, a power of attorney must meet the legal requirements set forth by state law to be considered valid. It is important to ensure that the document is properly executed and signed and that it clearly outlines the powers granted to the agent.
When choosing an agent, the principal should be careful and pick someone they can completely trust to do what's best for them. The agent must act in good faith and in accordance with the powers granted by the principal in the power of attorney. The agent should not exceed the authority granted to them and should always act in the best interest of the principal.
Types of Power of Attorney in Virginia
Virginia Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
The durable power of attorney is characterized by the agent's authority to make decisions on behalf of the principal even when the principal is incompetent, that is, unable to manage his property or commercial affairs. (§ 64.2-1602)
Virginia General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of document grants an agent the authority to manage the principal's financial affairs. The agent can be authorized to do a variety of things, such as manage bank accounts and financial transactions, make payments, and manage the principal's financial obligations. (§ 64.2-1629)
Virginia Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
A limited power of attorney can be used in a variety of situations where the principal needs an agent to act on their behalf for a specific purpose, such as selling or transferring a specific piece of property or signing legal documents on behalf of the principal for a specific matter.
Virginia Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
The parental power of attorney allows the agent to act on behalf of the child's parent for a period not longer than 180 days. During this time, the agent may perform the duties of the parent or legal custodian regarding the custody, care, and property of the child. (§ 20-166)
Virginia Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
A Virginia medical power of attorney allows the principal to appoint someone else to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event that they are unable to make those decisions themselves. This document is also known as an advance directive for health care.
Virginia Springing Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of power of attorney only becomes effective upon the occurrence of a future event (such as the principal's incapacity) and not when it is signed by the principal. (§ 64.2-1607)
Virginia Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
With this type of document, the agent can perform actions on behalf of the principal regarding vehicle-related matters. This can include buying, selling, registering, titling, and transferring ownership of the vehicle.
Virginia Revocation Power of Attorney Requirements
A Virginia revocation power of attorney allows the principal to revoke or cancel a previously executed power of attorney. The revocation power of attorney should include the details of the previously executed power of attorney that is being revoked, such as the date and type of the power of attorney, the name of the agent, and any other relevant information.
Virginia Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
The tax power of attorney grants the agent authority to pay taxes due, collect refunds, receive confidential information, and contest deficiencies determined by the Internal Revenue Service or other taxing authorities. (§ 64.2-1637)
Virginia Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
With this type of power of attorney, the agent can be given authorization to buy, sell, rent, mortgage, or manage real estate on behalf of the principal. (§ 64.2-1625)
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Virginia
To be legally valid in front of governmental agencies, a power of attorney in Virginia must meet the following requirements:
Age and sound mind. The agent must be at least 18 years old and mentally capable of understanding the purpose of the power of attorney and the consequences of executing it.
Signature. While it is not mandatory, having the principal sign the document in front of a notary public can provide additional validation. (§ 64.2-1603)
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in Virginia?
In Virginia, there are no formal qualifications for who can serve as your agent, but you should still select an adult who is competent, trustworthy, and able to carry out your instructions.
Typically, people choose the following people as their agents:
A person who is at least 18 years old and who has not been pronounced incompetent by a court
A relative, a friend, or another trusted individual
A professional lawyer, accountant, or other
How to Create a Virginia Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in Virginia
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
You should select the appropriate type of power of attorney under Virginia law based on your needs.
#2. Select an Agent
Appoint someone who is both reliable and capable of carrying out your requests and handling your affairs as you want.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
Outline the financial, real estate, medical, or other duties that will fall within the agent's authority.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
Download an appropriate Virginia power of attorney form. Our website has forms that can be customized and filled out with the necessary information.
#5. Get It Signed & Notarized
Notarization is strongly advised to ensure the document's authenticity.
#6. Safely Store the Original Copy
Keep the original power of attorney in a secure and easily accessible area, such as where you store your personal documents.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
Provide copies of the power of attorney to your agent, your doctor, your bank, and any other parties who may require a copy.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
Regularly review and update the power of attorney to make sure it still serves your needs, especially if your situation changes or if you want to make changes to the document's terms.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in Virginia?
In Virginia, a power of attorney takes effect immediately upon execution unless the document specifies a future date or event. (§ 64.2-1607.)
The duration of a power of attorney can vary depending on the terms of the document, but it can generally last until the principal revokes the power of attorney, the agent resigns or becomes incapacitated, or the principal dies.
A power of attorney can be terminated automatically if the purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished, the expiration date specified in the document has been reached, or the principal becomes incapacitated (if the power of attorney is not durable). (§ 64.2-1608.)
Virginia Power of Attorney FAQ
A power of attorney can be used when you want someone else to act on your behalf to make legal, financial, or healthcare decisions. This may be necessary if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions or if you want to delegate certain responsibilities to someone else for other reasons.
A power of attorney enables you to transfer some obligations or appoint someone else to act in your place in a variety of situations, such as legal, financial, or healthcare matters.
While notarization is not explicitly required for a power of attorney in Virginia, it is highly recommended to ensure the document's validity and enforceability.
Yes, a power of attorney does not have any effect after your death. Therefore, it is essential to have a will in place to ensure that your preferences regarding the distribution of your assets after your death are carried out.