The West Virginia durable power of attorney (durable POA) is a legal document that enables one party, the agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on behalf of and represent the interests of the party issuing the durable power of attorney, the principal.
The principal can authorize the agent to represent them before governmental, financial, medical, or other institutions and third parties. Moreover, the principal can use the durable power of attorney in any situation where they are not able to personally complete a certain action.
This can happen due to their physical or mental disability, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or simply because they are located far from the location where a certain action needs to be taken.
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in West Virginia
Laws & Requirements
Relevant laws: WV Code, Chapter 39B - Uniform Power of Attorney Act
Signing requirements: The principal or another individual in their conscious presence must sign the West Virginia durable power of attorney before the notary public. (§ 39B-1-105)
Statutory form: The statutory form for the West Virginia power of attorney is provided in § 39B-3-101.
“Durable” as defined by the state law: According to § 39B-1-102(2), “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 West Virginia
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should determine the person who will act as your agent and act on your behalf. The agent should be an adult with legal capacity. Moreover, it should be someone you trust, especially if they have the authority to make decisions about your medical care or finances.
Once you have determined the agent, enter their full name and mailing address in the durable power of attorney form.
Here, you can also name the successor agent. This is the person who will act in case the primary agent loses capacity or, in some other way, becomes unable to represent you.
#2. Grant Authority
Once you have entered the details about your agent, you must define their scope of authority.
The West Virginia 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 enables your agent to take all the necessary steps and interact with all third parties on your behalf. You can only determine the matter in which they will have general authority, like real estate, litigation, tax-related matters, or more.
Partial authority. Here, you can explicitly define what activities will be included in your agent’s scope of authority. You can do so by choosing the activities you want to include from the list of activities provided in the durable power of attorney form.
Special authority. Special authority enables you to define your agent’s scope of authority in your own words. In this way, you can include the activities that are not provided in the durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
A durable power of attorney, unlike other types of powers of attorney, remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
In West Virginia, the power of attorney is durable by default, meaning that you must specify in the document if you want your power of attorney to be non-durable.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal, or another individual in their conscious presence, must sign the West Virginia durable power of attorney form according to the signature requirements in that state.
#5. Notarize the Form
The West Virginia 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 finalizing the document, you should keep the original copy in your possession and store it in a safe place.
You should give one copy 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 West Virginia
The best way to revoke the West Virginia durable power of attorney is to issue a revocation letter. This letter should include the name of the agent and the issuing date of the power of attorney you want to revoke.
To make the revocation effective, you should give a copy of the document to the agent and to every third party the agent is interacting with on your behalf. In this way, all the relevant parties will be informed that the document is no longer effective.