Alexandria Power of Attorney Lawyer
A power of attorney is legal document that designates an agent to make financial decisions your behalf. It is advantageous to have a power of attorney as part of your overall estate plan. Signing a power of attorney does not take away your ability to make decisions for yourself. Rather, it provides a mechanism for your financial affairs to be taken care of in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.
If you become incapacitated and do not have a power of attorney, the only alternative may be to seek a court-appointed guardian or conservator. This process can be extremely time consuming and expensive. Working with an Alexandria power of attorney lawyer can help to avoid the potential need to go through the court managed guardianship or conservatorship processes. Speak with a skilled trusts and estates lawyer right away to begin preparing the proper documents to establish legal authority.
Requirements for Legal Power of Attorney
The Virginia Uniform Power or Attorney Act outlines the requirements of a valid power of attorney in Alexandria. To execute a power of attorney, the principal must be 18 years old and have the mental capacity to understand what they are doing. Powers of attorney should be in writing and signed by the principal or a person directed by the principal in their presence. It is considered best practice to sign this document before a notary public. The principal’s signature will be presumed genuine if it is signed in the presence of a notary.
Understanding the Authority for Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney are generally enforceable at the time they are signed. When a power of attorney is effective at the time it is signed as opposed to at the time of a triggering event, such as incapacity, it can be used by the attorney-in-fact at any time.
Powers of attorney can be tailored to fit the principal’s needs and circumstances. While many powers of attorney are drafted intentionally to be broad and all-encompassing, this approach is not always suitable. For example, a principal may not wish to include the powers that allow their agents to amend a trust, change beneficiary designations or make gifts. These and certain other powers must be specifically granted to the agents under the Virginia Uniform Power of Attorney Act.
Powers of attorney typically include provisions addressing:
- Take possession of property
- Sign checks
- Invest funds
- Pay debts and expenses
- Obtain insurance
- Pay taxes
- Conduct business
- Enter contracts
- Initiate litigation
What Does Termination of a Power of Attorney Mean?
In some cases, a limited power of attorney that only grants authority in one particular transaction may be appropriate. Limited powers of attorney are often used for real estate transactions. Agent selection is one of the most important aspects of a power of attorney. Individuals often select a trusted family member or close friend to serve as their agent.
It is permissible to designate two persons to act as co-agents. A power of attorney may direct that co-agents may act individually or jointly. It is advisable to name at least one or more successor agents if the primary agent is unable to serve for any reason.
A power of attorney is generally a revocable estate planning document. It can be terminated or replaced by the principal by destroying the document or executing a subsequent one as long as the principal has mental capacity to understand their actions. If the principal becomes incapacitated, their durable power of attorney will remain in effect. Upon the principal’s death, a power of attorney if no longer an enforceable document.
Connect with an Alexandria Power of Attorney Lawyer
Whether you need assistance preparing a power of attorney or modifying an existing document, Alexandria power of attorney lawyers will be able to help you. When you are ready to speak with one of our knowledgeable professionals about your power of attorney, contact us via phone or email to schedule a consultation.