The Virginia durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a legal document used for transferring authority from one person to another. The person issuing the durable power of attorney is called the principal, while the person who represents the principal is called the agent or the attorney in fact.
The principal can authorize the agent to represent them in every situation where the principal is not able to personally act and complete a certain action or make a certain decision.
This can happen due to the principal’s bad mental or physical health, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or simply because the principal is located far from the place where a certain action must be taken.
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in Virginia
Laws & Requirements
Relevant laws: Uniform Power of Attorney Act - Title 64.2, Chapter 16
Signing requirements: The principal or another person in the principal’s conscious presence should sign the Virginia durable power of attorney. (§ 64.2-1603)
Statutory form:The statutory form of durable power of attorney is not available in Virginia law.
“Durable” as defined by the state law: According to § 64.2-1600, “Durable,” with respect to a power of attorney, means not terminated by the principal’s incapacity.
How to Fill out a Durable Power of Attorney in Virginia
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should determine the person who is going to act on your behalf and represent you before third parties. That person should be an adult with legal capacity. Moreover, it should be someone you can trust, especially if they have the authority to make decisions about your finances and medical care.
After you have determined the agent, you should enter their full name and mailing address in the Virginia durable power of attorney form.
Here, you can also determine the successor agent. They will act in case the primary agent becomes incapacitated or, in some other way, becomes unable to represent you.
#2. Grant Authority
After determining the agent, you should define their scope of authority.
The Virginia durable power of attorney form provides three main options for determining the agent’s scope of authority:
Scope of Authority
General authority. This authority enables the agent to take all the necessary actions and interact with any third party 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. With this method, you will select the actions you want to include in your agent’s scope of authority from the list of activities provided in the durable power of attorney form.
Special authority. Here, you will be able to define the scope of your agent’s authority in your own words. This will enable you to include the activities that are not provided in the durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
In Virginia, the power of attorney is durable by default, meaning that you must explicitly state in the document if you want your power of attorney to be non-durable.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal, or another person in their conscious presence and guided by them, must sign the Virginia durable power of attorney.
#5. Notarize the Form
The notary public or another person authorized to take the acknowledgments must notarize the Virginia durable power of attorney.
By notarizing the durable power of attorney, the principal will confirm the authenticity of the principal’s signature and the overall authenticity of the document and prevent any potential disputes in this regard.
#6. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form
After finalizing the durable power of attorney, you should keep the original copy in your possession and store it in a safe place.
Additionally, you can give one copy of the document to the agent so they can prove their capacity to the third parties they are interacting with on your behalf.
How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in Virginia
The best and most efficient way to revoke the Virginia durable power of attorney is to issue a revocation letter. This letter should include the name of the agent and the date of issuance of the power of attorney you want to revoke.
After drafting and signing the revocation letter, you should send a copy to the agent and to every third party they are interacting with on your behalf so the revocation can become effective.